Steps to Help
Your Child Acquire English Language Skills
In this newsletter
we continue printing 4
steps that our speech pathologist Natalia Likhtik offers to new adoptive
parents as a guide for helping children acquire the English language
Adults use mealtimes to "socialize"
and "catch up" on the child's news of the day. Adults introduce
narrative skills through modeling and telling a simple, personal narrative
about a special event that occurred today or during the previous day.
Good, clear models are essential in order to familiarize your child
with basic story elements and terms that help to provide structure and
temporal sequence (e.g., "first," "next," "last")
Adults then ask children to tell
them about events during their day. They may have witnessed the event,
but did not participate along with the child. This will provide the
adults with some context in which to guide and support a child's story
telling attempt. For better narratives, adults can provide children
with the focus or theme through comments. For example, "It seemed
like you and Michael were having so much fun in block area. You were
laughing so loud. Tell us what was so funny." Or: "I saw that
your teacher Maria put a band-aid on your elbow. What happened on the
Adults can help children with their
narrative skills development significantly by being a truly interested
develop personal narrative skills
- Teach a child to relate
events sequencing them with the beginning, middle, and end.
- Teach a child to relate events
with explicit, casual, and temporal sequence among events.
parent should be an interested, supportive communication partner during
regular conversations and provide opportunities for children to practice
skills during interactions.
- Model personal stories (e.g.,
tell a 4-5 sentence story about what happened on the way to school
or other interesting story that happened during your day).
- Scaffold the child's attempts
by restating utterances, expanding ideas, and providing words to describe
the child's gestures (e.g., "Oh, it hurts right there!"
"Your doctor gave you a shot?").
- Ask questions and make comments
that continue a conversation (e.g., "What happened next?"
"That sounds scary!").
- Use prompts for more information
(e.g., "Tell me more.")