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Use all of these strategies during PLAY!  The best place to start is by playing on the floor with your child.  Get down at their level and engage yourself in his/her play.


  • Self Talk:  Narrate what YOU are doing.  Describe and label what you're doing, seeing, hearing, touching, smelling or thinking.  
  • Parallel Talk:  Narrate what YOUR CHILD  is doing.  Describe and label what your child is doing, seeing, hearing, smelling or touching.  
  • Repeat & Expand:  Acknowledge what your child has said by repeating it and adding 1-2 words onto it to allow him/her to hear a more complex model.  For example, if your child says, "Blue car", you can say, "Blue car go!" or "I see blue car".
      • If your child isn't speaking yet, model 1-2 words at a time.
      • If your child is using single words, model 2-3 words at a time.
      • If your child is using phrases, model longer phrases and sentences.
  • Recast:  If you hear your child make an error, you can model the correct production without asking him/her repeat what he/she has said.  For example, if your child said, "I hurted my leg" you can say, "Oh no, you hurt your leg!".
  • Motherese:  Use a sing-song voice or motherese when modeling words for your child.  The goal is to capture his/her attention by using a slower rate of speech, a high pitch voice, and exaggerated your intonation.