Our children need opportunities to talk for so many reasons:
- communicate information
- explore and understand ideas and concepts
- solve problems
- organize experiences and knowledge
- express thoughts, feelings, and opinions
Listening and speaking skills are essential for social interaction at home, at school, and in the community.
-from The Ontario Language Curriculum, Oral Communication, page 9
Students of all ages need continuous opportunities to develop their oral language. Before a child can read and write, they need to be able to speak and listen. Ideas are developed and language patterns are learned when children engage in ongoing talk. As children get older, they develop additional skills, such as the use of tone, vocabulary, and non-verbal cues to support their oral language.
Here’s some prompts to ask your child to help express thoughts, ideas, and opinions:
- What does this make you think about?
- What do you notice in this picture /story?
- What do you think is happening?
Sometimes when we’re talking, we have different opinions. Learning how to explain yourself is a skill that takes time. Here’s a few prompts to help your child justify a point of view:
- Why do you think that?
- Explain why you think that….
- How do you know that?
Don’t forget that these conversations go both ways! Listen to your child and then share your own opinion. We learn how each other sees the world when we take the time to talk about things that interest us!