On January 28th we were featured on Good Morning America! We still can’t believe it really happened. On the show, we highlighted two very important strategies that should be used to help boost your child’s language skills.
The first topic we discussed was, “Baby Talk”. Is it good or bad to use this type of speaking style? Baby Talk (also known as “motherese”, “parentese” or “infant-directed speech”) is very beneficial! We often highlight this on Instagram and in our Talk On Track course. However, it is important to know that there is a WRONG way and a RIGHT way to use “Baby Talk”. The wrong way to use baby talk is when you use made-up words, with incorrect sounds or grammar. It might sound a little bit like this: “Awww you want a ‘wittle’ ‘wawa’ in your ‘cuppie’?”. The right way to use ‘Baby Talk” is to use high pitched, exaggerated speech containing real words and correct grammar. It sounds like this: “You want water in your cup?” Listen, we know that this does not come naturally to everyone. You don’t have to walk down the aisles of the grocery store sounding like a Disney princess.
However, research shows that talking to your baby in this way can have a positive impact on their language development.
WHY? When you speak to your baby in this manner they become more engaged. And when you have their attention they are more likely to learn from you.
The other topic we discussed is, “What is the best way to read with a baby to improve language learning?” We teach parents an alternative way to read with their babies to keep them engaged so they can learn more language! Rather than facing your baby outward…turn them around! Let them face you! This way, your baby can watch your mouth as you say words and see your expressions and gestures. Doing this also gives you an insight into what your baby is interested in and allows you to use words based on what they are looking at in the book! By facing each other you are making book reading more interactive. Research shows that having back and forth interactions such as this improves one’s language.
To add to this, find creative ways to make the book come alive! Be silly! Have fun! Pretend to play with the book. If there is a glass of water in the book…drink it! If there is food in the book…EAT IT! You don’t have to read all the words when your baby is little, simply highlight a few of the keywords!
To learn more, we teach these topics more depth in on our online course, Talk On Track!