How to expand your child’s oral language…
As we discussed in our previous article “Literacy For Children“oral language is critical for literacy development and educational success.
Blank, Rose and Berlin (1978) developed a series of questions aiming to facilitate the development of a child’s language use from simple concrete concepts to more complex and abstract language forms.
Courtesy of Blanks research, the following levels of questions were developed as a general guide for stimulating a child’s expressive and receptive language by asking age appropriate questions:
Level One (2-3 year olds)
Questions relate to what’s happening in the child’s immediate environment.
“What is that?”
“What can you see?”
“Find one like this”
“Is it a —?” (yes/no response)
Level Two (3-4 year olds)
Starting to use basic analysis such as classifying/ grouping objects and describing objects by function.
“Find something that can …(jump)”
“What is happening in this picture?”
“Where is the…?” (requires a location response e.g. “on the chair” not just pointing
“Find something that is …(blue) and …(soft)”
“How are these different?”
“Which one is … (a vegetable)?”
Level Three (4-5 year olds)
Starting to use their own knowledge to make predictions and beginning to “Put themselves in someone else’s shoes”.
“What will happen next?”
“How do you think he feels?”
“How are these same/different?”
“What is a …?” (definitions)
Level Four (5 years +)
Starting to predict, problem solve and provide basic explanations. A child starts to use their own experience to determine solutions.
Predicting changes: “What will happen if…?”
Solutions: “What should we do now?”
Causes: “How did that happen?”
Justifying: “Why can’t we …eat jelly with a knife and fork?”
Explanations: “How can we tell he is angry?”