Supporting Preschool Speech Development
Supporting speech development is a huge component of preschool. Many of the activities in classrooms are centered around play, building relationships, and providing opportunities for preschoolers to interact with their peers and teachers. All of which are important aspects of speech development.
As early educators there are so many things we can do to naturally support speech development through our daily conversations, activities, and routines.
Opportunities for Interaction
One of my favorite ways to promote speech development in the classroom is using storytelling activities. As early educators, we probably all have students who are natural talkers and sharers, but we also have students who are working on developing these skills. Storytelling allows students to recreate and revisit a story. When we give preschoolers a topic, but allow them to tell a story using their own vision and creativity, it gives them a little more confidence in speaking out loud. This Jack & Jill Oral Literacy resource is a great example of a story telling resource that encourages preschoolers to make predictions, retell the story, and learn new vocabulary. When preschoolers are engaged in an activity, they are more likely to communicate and participate!
Read-alouds are a important to speech development. Books are one of the first tools we use with babies because they expose them to language and are a strong tools for interaction. When reading to preschoolers, we introduce them to new vocabulary, including new sounds and correct pronunciations. Preschool teachers are notorious for repeating books, why? Because it’s one of the best ways to help preschoolers remember and retell a story. When reading to preschoolers, we also show expressions with facial emotions, and body language, which is an excellent tool in assisting preschoolers in communicating with others.
Reading gives young learners a chance to practice words, understand their meaning, and encourage preschoolers to discuss the story’s happening. Be sure to check out my post, all about supporting early readers.
I have listed a few of my favorite books to support preschool speech development:
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
There’s a Monster in Your Book
Llama Llama Series
Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons
Letter and Name Activities
Tips for Supporting Speech Development
Consider incorporating a developmental screening tool into your program as well. If a child needs support from a specialist early intervention is key! Check out this page from the CDC for more guidance and tools about speech delay.
The most important part of supporting preschool speech development is being consistent, and creating a classroom environment where preschoolers are encouraged to communicate, and talk with one another. Preschoolers have a lot to say!
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