How to help your child develop their language skills

Eastside SpeechFAQs

Eastside Speech | Child Development

Is your child beginning to use their first words? Are you wondering how you can help develop their language even further?

An important strategy you can use to help your child is called “OWLing”. Each letter stands for an important word:

  • O – Observe
    • It is sometimes hard to know what your child may be communicating to you. That’s why it is important to observe their body language. This may include: gestures and pointing, facial expressions and their gaze.
    • This will help you interpret what they are sharing with you and allow you to build upon the interaction.
  • W – Wait
    • Waiting goes hand-in-hand with observing. It is important that we give children enough time to respond to our question, or imitate words or phrases we want them to repeat.
    • There are three important steps to take when implementing this strategy:
      • Stop talking
      • Lean in
      • Look at your child like you are expecting them to say something. Try waiting 3-5 seconds before saying something.
    • This shows them that you are waiting for them to respond. In turn, this builds upon their language skills.
  • L- Listen
    • Listen to your child’s message, whether it be sounds, words or an attempt at a phrase. This will show them that what they are communicating to you is meaningful.
    • As your child’s speech and language skills are developing, they may pronounce certain sounds incorrectly, making it hard for you to understand, for example “tat” may be their way of saying “cat”. In these cases, it is important for you to look for clues and guess what they are trying to say to you. You can also model back the correct way of saying the word by repeating this 2-3 times.

There are many other strategies you can use to help your child develop their early language skills. If you have concerns regarding your child’s speech and language development, and are wondering what other strategies you can use to help your child, a speech pathologist can support you. Please get in touch on (02) 9398 3020.

If you want to know more about our services, read more at Speech Therapy for Toddlers & Preschoolers.