How Do I Create a Language Rich Environment?
Updated: Mar 25, 2021
Having a language rich home can be a great way to help your autistic child understand and learn complex language. By providing a language rich home your child will pick up little bits of information over time which will all help along their own language development journey.
10 Tips To Help
Here are the top 10 best tips we found on creating a rich language environment to help your child develop complex language. Just pick and choose which ones are the most suitable for your child.
1. Use Labels Around the House
Putting a label on objects will help your child see the connection between objects and words. By doing this you are increasing the frequency of words they see in the daily life. This is a great way to create a language rich environment. Over time, they will pick up these words and can begin to use them. You can encourage your child to use the words to. For example, if your child wants a drink, you can show them a cup with the label and help them pronounce it.
2. Put Up Quotes
When your child is a little older, you can start putting up quotes around the house to deepen their understanding of phrases. You can put quotes in frames and place them all around the house. This allows your child to start seeing language frequently used in sentences which can help them understand how certain words can be used.
3. Read Aloud with your Child
Reading aloud with your child is a great way to increase their vocabulary. It gives your child the opportunity to gain new words and also giving the chance to pronounce them. You can choose the book level you think is most appropriate for you and your child to read together. Sometimes, it can be good to read slightly above their level to introduce your child to new words.
Remember: Whilst reading unfamiliar words, take the time to explain what new words mean and give them examples they may see that word in life. By doing this, the word is more likely to stick.
4. Talk with your Child
Practice makes perfect, this is very true when it comes to developing language. Having a little sit down with your child and asking about their day or talking to them about their favourite activity gives your child the chance to use new words they have learnt. It also lets them hear how you use words. Just make sure you don't talk their socks off by letting them speak the most in the conversation. Let your child enjoy the conversation and let them leave when they feel ready.
5. Make Words Fun!
Making words fun is a great way to keep your child's attention and focus on building up their vocabulary. You can make words fun using:
alphabet or phrase magnets
alphabet cards or toys
6. Create a Word Wall
A word wall is a wall dedicated for lists of different words themes and words associated with that theme to learn. The words used in each theme are words that regularly occur in that theme. For example a greetings theme may have words such as hello, goodbye, how are you?. This helps your child build up vocabulary and connect words to different experiences.
So where can you create a word wall? Anywhere in your house! You could have a specific wall in the house, such as in your play room or your child's room, or you could put it on your fridge! Try and make sure it is a place where your child is going to see it often so there is a greater opportunity for them to develop their language.
7. Have Multiple Reading Themes & Sources
Suppling your child with multiple reading themes and sources will help develop their vocabulary. By having different themed books, such as a dinosaur book and a beach theme book, will show them different words that
You can also provide different sources of reading for your child to look at, such as a story book or a magazine. Just make sure they are creative and have a rich use of language. Each source will provide different means for your child to learn new words. Whilst a storybook can help your child associate words with a picture, a non-picture book can provide them with complex words.
8. Synonyms List
When your child learns a new word, create a synonym list so they can see words that are similar to the word they have just learnt. Encourage your child to try out a different version of their word when talking with them.
Tip: You don't need to do this for every single word, but try doing it for some regularly used words.
9. Play Word Games
Playing word games with your child can make learning new words fun and more engaging. Games, like hangman or the word association game, can help your child learn new words and how to spell them. You could also play online word games such as wordscapes.
10. Be Encouraging
Make sure that you are always encouraging and being patient with your child whilst they are learning new words. Create an environment where it is okay for them to make a mistake or take a risk without being punished. Make sure they feel valued whilst they are learning and exploring news words. By doing this, it will show them that learning language is a positive thing which should encourage them.