During the first five years of a child’s life, their brains are rapidly developing. In fact, 90% of a child’s brain develops during this time. As your preschool students are building the skills they’ll need for school and beyond, it’s important to realize how the interactions they have with adults influence how they develop and learn.
Here are 5 ways you can promote the language and communication skills of your students:
1. Be a Commentator
As your students’ teacher, you can model language for them by commenting on different activities they’re doing in the classroom. By talking about these things, you’re helping them understand which words go with which actions.
2. Read Together
When you read with your students, you’re exposing them to speech sounds and language structures that may be new to them. In addition, reading helps young children develop the ability to recognize the sound units that make up words and syllables.
3. Ask Questions
Questions are powerful tools that can help get preschoolers’ wheels turning. When you promote back-and-forth conversations with your students, you are giving them the opportunity to express themselves and show greater complexity in their speech.
4. Play Language Games
Incorporate learning into play! With games like ‘Simon Says,’ you can expose students to new words and complex sentences all while having fun. Try playing games that repeat words and phrases. For example, “I spy with my little eye…” Repeated exposure to words is a great way to build vocabulary.
5. Sing and Listen to Songs
Young children love music. In fact, research shows children with strong musical skills have greater phonological awareness. When singing together as a class, pause to let children fill in the blanks to give them an opportunity to use and listen for words. For example, “The Wheels on the bus go ___.”