Verb Learning

Research shows that verb knowledge is a necessary prerequisite for generating sentence structures of increasing length and complexity. It is suggested that children with language disorders traditionally show greater challenge in learning verb forms and understanding the concept of verb tense-referring to when an action has occurred. Research suggests that by 2 years of age, children should begin acquiring a number of early-learned verb forms in their functional vocabulary to guide in their overall development of language. Resources from The Hanen Center suggest there are high-frequency, concrete verb forms that are most commonly and most easily understood by children as they develop language. These verb forms include: bite, blow, break, bring, bump, clean, close, cry, dance, draw, drink, drive, eat, fall, feed, finish, get, give, go, help, hit, hug, hurry, jump, kick, kiss, look, love, open, play, pull, push, put, read, ride, run, say, see, show, sing, sleep, smile, splash, stop, swim, swing, take, throw, tickle, touch, walk, wash, watch, wipe, and write. To assist in developing a child’s verb knowledge, adults are encouraged to engage in movement and dynamic play with children to make the concepts of actions feel authentic and natural and physically/visually represented in their daily routine. In addition, parents are encouraged to label verb forms as they would concrete nouns throughout a day’s routine to promote generalization of verb forms in varying contexts (e.g. pushing a door, pushing in a chair, pushing a doorbell.)

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