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Diane Duff - Literacy Consultant

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Diane Duff, B. Ed., Literacy Consultant
~working with families and schools to ensure every child can read~

Baby Talk

Recently, I overhead a man describe the ten minute conversation he'd had with his daughter. She must be an infant, because the entire exchange, dad said, was nothing but tongue clicks.

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Doesn't that picture make you smile?

One of the things I remarked (after I stopped thinking about how attractive men are when they're really engaged with their children) was that he'd called the tongue clicking a "conversation."

I wonder how many other parents would have called that a conversation.

Whether they exchanged conceptual information or not, father and daughter were communicating - eye contact, give and take, speech sounds - all adding up to a statement by each of the importance of the other.

Engagement - yes, conversation with infants - is important on many levels because it:
• strengthens the emotional bond between parent and child;
• supports the emotional well being of both parent and child;
• teaches the child about human interaction rules, such as turn taking;
• exposes the child to sounds of language;
• develops the child's articulatory organs
• exposes the child to word boundaries (love you, not lu vyou);
• gives the child an appreciation of the prosody and rhythm of language;
• gives the child something specific and motivating to listen to ...and hear; and
• develops the child's receptive vocabulary

Whenever I see a parent engaged with a baby, I feel very optimistic. Why?

Because every one of those skills is important to a child's ability to read with confidence, understanding, fluency, and enjoyment. And that means one more child on his way to good school experience.


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So, go talk to your baby.
Call me if you or the baby have any questions.
Until next time,
Diane

Diane Duff, B. Ed., is a literacy consultant who works with families,
schools, and literacy coaches/tutors. Diane conducts assessments for
reading/writing skills and dyslexia; provides workshops for parent groups;
leads reading and language curriculum review for private schools, Montessori
schools and homeschooling parents; and conducts teacher training in language
and literacy development.

Contact Diane directly at aldridge@bellnet.ca

http://www.aldridgeduff.ca

Ottawa: 613-730-7096

Toll Free: 1-888-636-7741