The key to literate kids? A healthy dose of oral language.

by Babs Hadjusiewicz October 12, 2013

Hi, I’m Babs, a children’s author, education consultant, and mother of two home-grown readers. I’m also a first-time grandmama of young Willa who is already rehearsing to be a reader! Exciting! Okay, now that you know a little something about me, let’s move right on––to the what and why of our focus here at Babsy B: Oral language development. It’s our focus because oral language is the basic foundation for all learning.

Oral language skills––listening and speaking––prepare us to communicate with others. Communicating orally is not only important in meeting and greeting others; it’s also how we share with others our feelings and needs. As we listen and talk, we practice using words, phrases, and sentences that we, eventually, will learn to read and write. Listening, speaking, reading, and writing, then, make up the essential skill set each of us uses to learn new vocabulary and knowledge throughout our entire lives. And it all begins at or before we are born. Thus it is that we here at Babsy B focus on oral language development in all that we do and in our every product.

Research and experience have long pointed to the importance of modeling language for kids. Here at Babsy B, our goal is to reach out to you parents, teachers, and caregivers with lots of easy and fun ways to do just that––model oral language––as you interact with your children. Your conversations model for your kids the words, phrases, and sentences they need practice hearing in order to speak the language. Practice in listening and speaking prepares your children to the best readers and writers they can be.

Here on this blog, you’ll find oral language suggestions you can use to offer your kids that listening and speaking practice. Although some of the tips you’ll learn here apply to kids of all ages, this blog will speak primarily to those of you with children ages newborn to 8 years . . . and to you expectant parents who are talking and reading to your babies still in the womb. In addition, we at encourage you to ask your own unique questions about your child’s oral language journey.

Now, for starters, let’s do an activity. All you’ll need are your child and you. You can be anywhere at any time. Notice what each of you is involved in doing. Then talk about that activity. That’s it. Talk. Then listen to whatever sounds or talk your child says in response. Talk some more. Listen and talk. That’s it. You’ve guided your child in an important oral language experience––a conversation that connected the two of you. ‘Twas one of many “dress rehearsal” experiences that lead to your child’s future successes in learning to read and write.

So long for now. Go have a great talking and listening day with your child!





Babs Hadjusiewicz
Babs Hadjusiewicz


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