Promoting good oral language and communication skills is perhaps the most important thing parents, caregivers and educators can do to prepare children to enter kindergarten.
Having just completed my 17th year of teaching at Oak Grove Primary School in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, with over 800 students in kindergarten and first grade, I see children daily who have been exposed to models of good oral language.
Sadly, I also see many who have not had these models and enter kindergarten at a disadvantage.
Just like any other skill, learning to talk requires frequent practice. That’s why it’s essential that family members and others who interact with a child on a daily basis do all that is possible to encourage oral language. These everyday moments spent with your child are valuable opportunities for increasing these skills.