Teachable Moments:

Suggestions and Strategies





*Establish and maintain joint attention

    *Make eye contact at the child's physical level (i.e. face to face).

    *This helps both you and your child feel connected and teaches the child that what each of you has to say is important.



    *Provide a correct model of language instead of correcting mistakes.

        i.e. child says: "her a big girl." ---> you say: "Yes, she is a big girl."

    *Instead of bombarding your child with questions that result in one word answers, you can try modelling the strategy of commenting. This can be done by commenting about how your day was, what you did, and things you like, etc. and then giving them the opportunity to reciprocate the information.



*Provide more complete language.

i.e. child says: "Me more milk." ---> you say: "Oh, you want more milk."

or child says: "Cookie please." ---> you say: "You're hungry! Me too! Let's get a snack to eat."


*Talk about what you are doing. (i.e. I am washing the dishes. The dishes are dirty.") Think of this as a descriptive running dialogue.

*Parallel talk

*Talk about what your child is doing. (i.e. Oh! You are building a tower. It is so tall.")


*Give your child time to think about what has been said and what he/she wants to say next. Remember, it takes children a long time to formulate sounds, words, and sentences. Silence is okay!

*Accept a meaningful vocalization or word approximation (i.e. part of a word or a mispronounced word.) Try not to anticipate your child's needs by talking for them. This gives them a chance to initiate and take part in a communication exchange.