The Communication is Fun! tutorial introduces parents to practical strategies supporting language play. It includes suggestions and tips on how to follow your child's lead, turn-taking, repeating, expanding and other strategies for language play. These materials are intended to support you in maximizing visual communication strategies for accurate exchange of ideas and information.
Early Learning Language
Dr. Charlotte Enns of the University of Manitoba gives information about early language learning in American Sign Language (ASL). Information includes: the difference between speech and language, the critical period for language development and ASL milestones from birth to age five.
This video highlights early communication development and includes information on how young children communicate, why they communicate and what they communicate about.
Following Your Child's Lead
This tutorial helps you learn to be sensitive to, and aware of, what your child is interested in and then build your play and conversation around this interest. These strategies will encourage your child to initiate interactions and make sure your play and conversations are meaningful. See the importance of getting (and keeping!) your child's attention in the family videos. View parents imitating their child's language and modelling language. The videos also demonstrate being at the same physical level as children when communicating or playing together.
Responding For Learning
The focus of this tutorial is to help parents build their children’s language skills by responding to their attempts to communicate by repeating what they say, by adding to it, or by prompting for more information. Responding consistently to children’s words or phrases throughout daily activities can gradually teach them more complex language.
The basis of all conversations is taking turns – and children learn how to do this through simple games. This tutorial shows parents how to play turn-taking games, some that don’t include any language, to begin to build these conversational skills with their children.