The Parents Lounge
Increasing Your Child’s Exposure to Oral Language
Donna Hall, M.Ed.
Oral language ability is a strong predictor of student success. For children to be successful when entering school, they must be flooded with hearing words. Research indicates beginning at birth children need to hear about 25,000 words per day. Yes, that is a lot of words to say in one day! So how can you, as a parent, accomplish this task?
1. Begin reading books to children at birth. Set a goal of reading three children’s books per day.
Include nursery rhymes and poetry.
2. As you go through daily activities, talk about what you are doing; i.e., “I am washing the
dishes,” “Vacuuming the carpet keeps it clean,” etc.
3. While driving, talk to your child about what you see and where you are going.
4. When shopping, talk about and show your child items; i.e., “This is an apple. It is red. Apples
are healthy for you.” “We are having salad for dinner. I need to purchase cucumbers.
Cucumbers are green.”
5. Sing to your child. Even if you can’t carry a tune, children really don’t mind. Children love
the sound and rhythm of song.
Happy Reading and Singing!
Donna is a National Board Certified Teacher in Early Childhood, a Reading Specialist, and has a Master’s in Reading. She currently serves as a REAC3H Instructional Coach.