Diane Duff - Literacy Consultant


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.


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.


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

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


Ottawa: 613-730-7096

Toll Free: 1-888-636-7741