Tips for Increasing Children’s Talk
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Supporting children’s talk can be done through questioning that builds higher-level thinking skills.
Open-ended questions encourage children to use more language that allow more than one or two word responses. Open-ended questions require children to think critically and express their ideas and feelings.
Examples of Open-Ended Questions
What might happen if….?
How does that make you feel?
Why do you think that?
What else can you tell me?
How could we do that differently?
Scaffolding language helps a child to successfully complete a task. When adults provide the model for mature speech which includes restating sentences, repeating important words, and responding to the child’s comments, they are supporting and increasing their language skills.
Ways of Scaffolding Language
Talk about what you are doing as you are doing it.
Think out loud.
Extend the child’s language by adding more information.
Link new words and information to something already known.
Say important words several times.
Examples and types of downward extension scaffolding
Minimal Scaffold - Either/or Question reduces choices (Did they need to build new houses because the shark ate their houses or because they wanted to move to a new neighborhood?)
Moderate Scaffold - Close prompt for final word (The fish had to build new houses because their houses got eaten by the sh…(shark).
Intense Scaffold - Say to elicit answer (The fish had to build new houses because their houses got eaten by the shark. Why did they need new homes? Teacher response “Their houses got eaten by the shark.)