Language Modeling

June 22, 2009 at 11:48 pm Leave a comment

One effective technique for facilitating expressive language development is appropriately using language modeling.  The following examples demonstrate four ways you can model language for your child.  The goal for language modeling is to increase the amount of language your child is using as well as expanding the complexity of what he or she says.

1. Expansion: Restating the child’s utterance while adding relevant grammatical or semantic details. For example, a child says, “Him running.” The listener can expand to, “Oh, he is running,” (grammatical expansion); or, the child says, “The dog is running,” and the listener may say, “Yes, the big brown dog is running fast!” (semantic expansion).

2. Self-talk: Refers to what YOU are doing as you perform an activity with your child. For example, as you bake cookies together: “I am going to open up the chocolate chips. Oops. Two chips fell out. Let’s put them in. In go the chips. Time to stir. I need my big spoon. Stir, stir, stir. I’m mixing the chips into the cookie dough. Yum, yum!”

3. Parallel talk: Refers to talking about what the CHILD is doing while he/she is involved in an activity. For example, as the child plays with trucks: “You’re driving the red truck. Up goes the truck on the ramp. It’s going up very slowly. Up, up, up. Oh, no! The truck fell off the ramp. Crash!”

4. Recast sentences: A specific type of sentence expansion which changes the basic sentence type, (i.e.  declarative, imperative, interrogative, exclamatory) of the child’s utterance. For example, if the child makes a declarative statement, “This baby (doll) is sick,” the listener may restate this utterance as a question, “Oh, is the baby sick?” or, “Doesn’t the baby feel well?”

Adapted from P. Lavin CCC-SLP (Thanks Pam!)

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