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Our aim is to provide children with opportunities to experience a rich language environment, and to ensure that they are able to speak and listen in a variety of situations. The ability to communicate helps us to participate in society.

Language is split into two parts.

a) Receptive language – this is the comprehension of language spoken or read. b) Expressive language – this is the expression of thoughts in the spoken word.


Both parts of language are necessary for effective communication.

DID YOU KNOW that in communication, 55% of a person’s body language and 38% of tone, accounts for the impact of a person’s speech on others, leaving only 7% for the actual words spoken? (Children with developmental delay often have difficulty in understanding and using body language and tone).


1. Always model correct grammar when speaking to your child. When your child speaks to you incorrectly, it is important not to criticize his mistake. Rather, you should model back the communication appropriately. E.g. Danny points to the cupboard and says ‘open cupboard’. Mother repeats back, ‘would you like me to open the cupboard, Danny?

2. Use as much descriptive language as possible in your daily language, as your child will pick up an abundance of vocabulary this way. She will also become more observant as you point out the small details. E.g. Jane, I love the lively colours on your striped woolly jumper. Game idea: Fill a bag with a few random articles from around the house. Take turns to take out an item. Place it on the table and use one word to describe it. Let your daughter add another descriptive word….taking turns until neither of you can think of a new word. The last person to add an adjective keeps the article. (You may describe size, colour, texture, pattern, sounds, uses of the item etc).

Another idea is to take (or find pictures of) a few of the same class of item e.g. shoes, and use a different descriptive term for each one. (possible descriptive terms, high shoe, flat shoe, heeled, wedged, patent, canvas, leather, smooth, rough, buckle, Velcro, lace-up, shiny, dull, clean, dirty…)

3. Story telling also gives a wealth of opportunities to enhance language skills and understanding.


Some suggestions whilst reading to your child:

a) Look at the front cover, read out the title and author.Look at the cover picture, and see if your child can guess what the book is about.

b) Try to anticipate what might come next in the story.

c) Ask your child questions about the book.

d) Go through the book a second time encouraging your child to tell the story from the pictures.

e) Encourage your child to ask questions as this will develop his thinking and understanding.