Nursery Age 0 Curriculum Suggestions
by Katrina Lybbert
I feel it is important to provide our babies with an environment full of language learning experiences. Long before babies can speak they begin to understand the language spoken around them. It is the language they hear and understand that will become their first words.
I was excited to learn about the five methods of language learning from a wonderful book: How to Talk To Your Baby by Dorothy P. Dougherty. I highly recommend this book and suggest you refer to it as you follow my suggestions for speech and vocabulary. Read an article by Dorothy P. Dougherty online.
The five methods for learning language are: naming, describing, comparing, explaining, and giving directions. I have decided to focus the first year of a baby's life on naming and describing. Each method builds upon the previous one and in the Nursery Age 1 curriculum I have continued with the last three methods. I feel that by spending this time with our babies they will gain great communication skills.
Here is a brief explanation of each of the five methods for language learning:
Naming: This is simply saying the names of objects as your point them out to your baby (ball, door, table, window, shoes, etc.).
Describing: This is describing the objects your baby has learned by telling number, colour, shape, size, texture or sound of the objects (red ball, square window, soft pillow, etc.).
Comparing: By comparing you tell your baby how objects, events, or people are the same or different. You can use opposites (old hat new hat, tall man short man) or compare objects using words ending in "er" or "est" (your shoe is bigger than your sock, this is the smallest ball, etc.).
Explaining: Talk to your baby about what you are doing. (I am putting on your pants. After we read this story it will be time for bed.)
Giving Directions: This is the last of the five methods and most advanced. Your baby will begin to follow simple directions such as "Put your shoes in the closet." When giving directions use many prepositions and your baby will soon learn to relate to the world around him.
Lesson suggestions cover the following times of day: dressing time, bath time, play time, and eating time. I have listed some suggested words to get you started, but you can choose many more words that are suitable for your own situation. Continue to review previous lessons and talk to your baby as often as you can. There are many more times during the day, and even places you go where you can use the five methods of language learning. It will be a special time for both of you.
Speech & Vocabulary Lesson List
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