According to the ASHA Wire (March, 2023) In a society where being health conscious and mindful is prioritized, more evidence is available supporting having a strong “language diet” in childhood is equally as important for brain development as is our actual “diets.” According to the article, “Evidence shows us how early exposure to rich, abundant language, or “language nutrition,” nourishes a child neurologically, socially, and linguistically, and helps set them up for literacy and communication success. The following three suggestions were made in the article for parents to support the language “diets” in their children”
- Talk Directly to Kids~ Given that parents are the primary source of language exposure for their children, parents are encouraged to highly prioritize use of consistent spoken language with and around children where description, exaggerated speech and expression, gestural communication, and repetition of concepts/topics is used.
- Treat kids as Conversational Partners~Engaging in back-and-forth conversation by taking turns, using a variety of vocabulary and initiating/reciprocating with kids is helpful to their long term ‘language diet.’
- Bolster Story Time~literacy activities are shown to consistently grow language skills. When reading, it is suggested to ask children questions, explain new/unfamiliar words, retell the stories, and to generate memorable songs/rhymes pertaining to the story