As stated in our last column, learning language follows a developmental sequence with auditory receptive language being the first step. A great deal has been written about how parents affect their children's development in language. Here is one suggestion that is show by research to be the most effective.
To enhance children's auditory receptive language, parents need to talk to their children. Some very interesting research was carried out in the sixties. The language environment for 18-month-old children was measured to determine how many words per hour mothers spoke to toddlers. Three clearly defined groups arose from the study. One group of moms spoke between 600 and 700 words per hour. Does this seem like a lot to you? The 2nd group of moms spoke between 1100 and 1200 words per hour. The 3rd group of moms spoke over 1500 words per hour.
But this isn't the end of the story. These mother child dyads were tested again at 3 years of age. The 1st group increased the number of words per hour to about 900. The 2nd group increased their number of words per hour to about 1500 words. The 3rd group increased their number of words to about 3000 words per hour.
When these children started kindergarten and then moved on to 1st grade, the children in the 1st group generally had difficulty learning to read. The 2nd group did okay. However, the 3rd group learned to read easily, fluently, and excelled in all academic areas.
These are grandmas’s glasses
And this is grandma’s hat.
This is the way she folds her hands
And puts them in her lap.
These are grandpa’s glasses
And this is grandpa’s hat.
This is the way he folds his arms
And sits like that.
Pantomime motions, change voice to a bigger voice for the grandpa stanza.