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Before a child learns to say a word they need to learn the meaning of it. They do this by hearing the word lots of times and in different situations.  

When you are modelling words don’t make your child feel pressurised to say them; they will do this when they are ready. If your child uses a sound or gesture instead of the word, respond positively as that’s an important step forward, and is good turn taking, but keep modelling the word as well. 

Help your child by: 

  • Keeping what you say simple 
  • Making your voice interesting 
  • Talk about what they are looking at or doing 
  • Reduce background noise so they can focus on you e.g. turn off the TV.

  • Use everyday activities to help your child with: 

    Learning new words. Everyday activities are great for learning new words. Make sure your child can see what you are naming so that they can link the word to the object.

    Following instructions. Everyday activities give us lots of opportunities to support children to follow instructions. It could be by finding one or more objects by name, finding something by description, or following a set of instructions.

    Talk about doing words and describing words. It is important to teach children to understand and use doing words as well as naming words. They also need to learn about describing words such as red, crunchy, hard, wet. Everyday activities give us lots of opportunities for this.

    Play with sounds. It is important for children to learn that sounds make up words. Everyday activities provide lots of opportunities for rhyming, clapping out syllables and thinking of what sound things begin with. There are lots of songs that go alongside everyday activities to make language fun.

Who Can Help?

You can contact the Norfolk & Waveney Speech & Language Therapy Service by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

You can speak to other Norfolk parents and carers by clicking our online community forum below. 


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