Did you know that you can help prepare your child for future success just by talking to them?
TALK! The TALK strategy helps us make conversations with children even more powerful.
What are the components of the TALK strategy?
Tune In. Enter the world of children by tuning in and paying close attention to what they are looking at or doing. Comment on what you observe, giving them an opportunity to respond, even if they can’t yet communicate with words. Respond quickly to their attempts to engage with you to show that you are interested in them.
Ask Questions. Asking questions invites children into conversation with you and models turn taking. Ask questions based on what you observed when you tuned into what they were doing. For infants and young toddlers, you can ask closed questions such as “Who is at the door?” or “What color is the ball?” As children get older, engage them with open ended questions that develop their vocabulary by requiring more thoughtful answers. Try questions like, “Why do you like playing with your dog?” or “What do you think will happen next?”
Lift Language. Model the language you want children to use in the future. Narrate everything you or the child is doing and expand on what the child says. Use well-formed sentences with interesting words, gestures, and facial expressions.
Keep it Going. Once you engage with children, you want to keep the conversation going by continuing to tune in, ask questions, and lift language. Keep the focus on what they are interested in. Each conversation creates more opportunities to use language and expand their vocabulary.