Thursday, March 31, 2011

Language Development: Goodnight Gog.

Goodnight Gog
  • "You better watch out. You better not cry. Gog, is coming to town."
  • What animal says "Meow?".......Gog!
  • "Woof, woof!"...........Gog!
  • Gog=shark
  • Gog=monkey
  • Gog=fish
  • Gog=Lucy
  • Gog=flower
  • Gog=tree
Poor Carter.

He is in some budding stages of language development and everything comes out as "Gog!"

While, I love it and think it is adorable, I try to control my laughs as I often hear many "Rules" from teaching ESL (English is a Second Language) and Primary students roaming in my head.

What I love about the ESL and Primary methods is that they are just good in-your-pocket-tools for teaching language (and soooo much more) to anyone at any age! These came in handy in Norway, China and now on my 14 Month Old.

So here are some teaching tips that swirl in my head and how they can relate to encouraging language in your child:

1. Talk to and with your child! All. The. Time. and about everything you see.

2. Narrate what they are doing:
"Carter is in the tent!" "Mmmm....Carter loves to eat oranges!" "Awww, Carter is hugging Lucy." Give them the language that they don't have yet!

3. Correct by Modeling:
One thing you never want to do is "Nooooo, that isn't a gog, it's a cat." "Ha ha. Your saying it wrong. cat-t-t."

I've experienced this perfect example of what not to do while trying to speak Chinese. It can be very frustrating. I can't hear the difference in what they are saying and how I'm saying it. It sounds the same to me. And instead of learning how to say it properly, I think of how I can communicate without using that word. This is how the babes feel too.

What the good ole textbook say is that you should correct their language by modeling how to say it. A conversation will go like this:
C-"Gog! Gog!!!"
M-"Oh my, that is a cat!!! Look at that sweet cat! Do you hear the cat say meow??"

And with anyone learning a language...the more you hear it, the more you can hear it!

4. Read with you child! Keep it enjoyable.
They have very short attention spans, that grow with time. Stay at their limit. Then stretch it as their interest grows. Don't force it with a struggle! :)
Picture Walk:
If they only want to flip pages quickly. Do that and briefly talk about something in the picture. Right now, Carter has some books that he has been obsessed with for a couple of weeks. Those books we can read all the way through and he studies all of the pictures. Some newer ones he brings to me, we only flip through a few pages with me talking about the picture. This lasts all of 15 seconds until he is onto something new.

5. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
I'm sure every parent of a toddler knows this routine! There is no way around it! In every little thing they do, they like to do it over, and over, and over again. This is how they learn. Practice makes perfect.

So when you've passed the 100th tree and followed up his "gog" with a "tree" just know they are a bit closer to than where they started.

Here we are reading "Santa Clause is Coming to Town". Things to notice:

-I try to push him to read the Animal book but nooooo.
-He rejects sitting in my lap, so the video is upside down.
-I have to sing it. Embarrassing. He makes me.
-He is obsessed with the cats.
-His attention last a good :45 sec.
-Just proof it's not pretty and perfect!!


  1. After reading the post, I was expecting to hear lots of gogs in the video, but I'm pretty sure Carter found some cats AND meows in there!

  2. One of the best posts yet! thank you. :0)

  3. Ashley, I have to admit...I'm a bit stunned with his performance too. Ha ha! His "gog's" were a bit more cat-like! And there were some Meows! Getting closer!!

    The Scott's: Thanks, I hope it was helpful!!

  4. I completely agree with your teaching tips! Nice post!

  5. Thanks for the reminders on language - Henry was a late talker and we were a bit worried (and even got help and had lots of suggestions like those that you listed), but now he speaks clearly and in paragraphs (not just sentences) - but now with a 6 month old, I gotta remember all these great tips!

    Jamie @ hands on : as we grow



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