Help Your Child Talk: Three Top Tips To Help Your Toddler Understand More Easily

Here's extract 16 from How To Help Your Child Talk and Grow Smarter: your chance to learn more about the way your child learns to talk.
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Understanding activities: variety
Let your child have access to many different situations. Seeing a real duck in the park is worth a library full of pictures of ducks. Give him the opportunity to experience things in a range of places.

Parks, libraries, the back garden and shops are all places for him to see and experience a whole new world of new sights, sounds, sensations, smells and tastes. 

Everything is new and interesting to a young child. Try to leave plenty of time in your day for him to see and handle. Allow twice as long for a shopping trip as you think you need, so you can talk to him about everything that catches his interest. He’ll learn so much more quickly.

Understanding activities: simplicity
Talk to him in simple sentences. If he misunderstands, it means your sentences are too long or complicated. Say the same thing again, in a simpler way, perhaps using two sentences with a pause in between. That gives him time to process the first word or two and understand them properly, before you say the next phrase. 

Remember how you feel when you hear someone speak in a foreign language, especially one that you learned at school. You often wish they would just slow down and let you catch up. Your child feels like that when you bombard him with too much language for him to manage.

Understanding activities: word position
Put a new word at the end of a sentence, as this helps him to pay it more attention. “Look at the dog,” is better than “There's a dog over there.”

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