Tuesday, 7 February 2012

- Oral Language -

Hello my name is Jo and I am an Occupational Therapist and I am very happy to be helping out while Lizz is off having her baby (will keep you posted). If this is your first time with us then I hope you have had as much fun as I have in the last week and a half. It was great watching all the little faces light up as they came through the door at Head Start and it hasn't taken long for everyone to settle in. As one of the new faces my challenge is to get to know every ones name by week 4 (feel free to test me). Welcome also to Chris who is a physio student visiting with us for 6 weeks. Chris has been a big hit with some of our boys (and he seems to get lots of smiles :) from the girls too).

This weeks focus is ORAL LANGUAGE, this refers to your child's ability to express their needs, thoughts and observations of the world around them. You can help them build a 'bank' of words by talking about what you're doing and what you see; this deposits words in their word bank. Oral language is important for children to express themselves. The more they can express orally the less they will need to rely on alternate means of communication, e.g. pointing, hitting, crying etc.

IDEAS to HELP with LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT
*Use meaningful language and activities
*Be aware of background noise and distractions
*Gain their attention before speaking
*Keep it short and simple
*Use specific vocabulary
*Create the need to talk
*Allow time to respond
*Give positive reinforcement
*Repeat, repeat, repeat
*Reduce the number of questions
(Ministry of Education. Much More Than Words)

Finally keep an eye out for our language seminar later in the year. Talk, talk, talk to you children. Catch you later, Jo :)

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