Less talk from parents can encourage more speech from children

Apr 22, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- A University of Bath research student has helped with a study that has found children with poor language skills improve when their parents make a few simple changes in the way they interact with them.

Student research associate Louise Davey was on a placement at the University of Sydney, Australia, working with four and five-year-olds attending pre-schools, and their .

She taught the parents of children with difficulties to use simple strategies to develop their child’s .

The strategies were used while reading books and during everyday conversations and included: pausing to allow the child an opportunity to talk about a topic of interest to them; asking open-ended questions; and encouraging the child to talk more on their chosen topics.

Louise, who was working under the of Dr Susan Colmar, a lecturer in the Faculty of Education & Social Work at the University, said:

“For me, the most rewarding part of my involvement in the research was observing that just teaching parents a simple intervention to use when looking at books with their children could produce significant changes in terms of children’s language, and as such really act to improve the quality of life and educational opportunities available to such children.”

Research shows how well we learn language has major implications for our progress in school and our life chances. According to Dr Colmar, an estimated 10 per cent of under six experience serious language delays and difficulties.

Explore further: Teachers' scare tactics may lead to lower exam scores

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Why learning to talk can be difficult

Nov 06, 2006

Problems in learning to talk are fairly common in young children. Sometimes these difficulties are a consequence of a known disease or of hearing loss, but usually there is no obvious explanation.

Conversing helps language development more than reading alone

Jun 29, 2009

Adult-child conversations have a more significant impact on language development than exposing children to language through one-on-one reading alone, according to a new study in the July issue of Pediatrics, the journal of the ...

Multilingualism brings communities closer together

Feb 10, 2009

Learning their community language outside the home enhances minority ethnic children's development, according to research led from the University of Birmingham. The research, which was funded by the Economic and Social Research ...

Recommended for you

Teachers' scare tactics may lead to lower exam scores

1 hour ago

As the school year winds down and final exams loom, teachers may want to avoid reminding students of the bad consequences of failing a test because doing so could lead to lower scores, according to new research published ...

Poll: Big Bang a big question for most Americans

7 hours ago

Few Americans question that smoking causes cancer. But they have more skepticism than confidence in global warming, the age of the Earth and evolution and have the most trouble believing a Big Bang created the universe 13.8 ...

Study finds law dramatically curbing need for speed

Apr 18, 2014

Almost seven years have passed since Ontario's street-racing legislation hit the books and, according to one Western researcher, it has succeeded in putting the brakes on the number of convictions and, more importantly, injuries ...

Newlyweds, be careful what you wish for

Apr 17, 2014

A statistical analysis of the gift "fulfillments" at several hundred online wedding gift registries suggests that wedding guests are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to buying an appropriate gift for the ...

Can new understanding avert tragedy?

Apr 17, 2014

As a boy growing up in Syracuse, NY, Sol Hsiang ran an experiment for a school project testing whether plants grow better sprinkled with water vs orange juice. Today, 20 years later, he applies complex statistical ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Teachers' scare tactics may lead to lower exam scores

As the school year winds down and final exams loom, teachers may want to avoid reminding students of the bad consequences of failing a test because doing so could lead to lower scores, according to new research published ...

Hyperbolic homogeneous polynomials, oh my!

Cutting-edge mathematics today, at least to the uninitiated, often sounds as if it bears no relation to the arithmetic we all learned in grade school. What do topology and combinatorics and n-dimensional ...

Poll: Big Bang a big question for most Americans

Few Americans question that smoking causes cancer. But they have more skepticism than confidence in global warming, the age of the Earth and evolution and have the most trouble believing a Big Bang created the universe 13.8 ...