How can I help improve my child's language skills?
"Education researchers have shown that adding Q-and-As to reading time can significantly improve children's language skills. And the more detailed the questions, the better.
Dr Paatsch, who is conducting the research with University of Melbourne colleagues, said asking "open" questions was particularly important.
"These can stimulate their imagination and creativity, and can also be used as a way of connecting the story to their own world experiences and developing their vocabulary," she said."
Credit: Article by Evonne Barry, Herald Sun, August 30 2012
Reading time is often a time for satisfying a child's curiosity. He or she takes this opportunity to ask the adult or parent questions about everything and anything related to the book at hand. However, it is also a great moment for parents to engage their child in a conversation by asking questions instead of answering them all the time. By asking questions, you can invite the child to think about the text or pictures from a different point-of-view (from their own) and help them build up their cognitive and language skills.
At the same time, it is also a great way to fuel their imagination by allowing them to think outside the text or pictures in the book. Find opportunities to relate the text to your family life or the child's experiences. For example, if the book is about learning to share things with a sibling, ask the child if he or she has done something similar. Or why they think the character in the book does not want to share (or wants to share).
But remember, try to avoid turning the questions into a test or examination. Hold back your desire to correct your child or tell him or her that things are not possible. It's more important for them at this stage, to learn that they are allowed to think of anything without fear of being criticized or chastised by their parents.