Language

How you talk with children is very important. A vital part of your role is to model appropriate language and encourage the child’s language development. When you engage in conversation or talk with the children, you are helping them to learn how to interact with other people and how to express their thoughts and emotions.

Points to remember when working with children of any age:

  • Use respectful and courteous language with the children and with other staff members
  • Avoid referring to the children as “you guys”. This is a tough habit to break, but if you are conscious of it you will use it less. “Boys and girls”, “friends”, or “okay, everyone” will work just as well to get the children to pay attention.
  • Take care with your pronunciation (watch for “gonna” or “wanna”)
  • Use specific and precise language to help children develop a rich vocabulary of words they can understand and say. For example, rather than asking a child to “Please give me that one over there,” you can ask, “Please give me the big red truck with the yellow wheels.”
  • Encourage children to experiment and play around with oral language, just as you encourage them to experiment with drawing and writing. Sing songs, recite rhymes, tell jokes, and share long or silly words that you think they might enjoy.
  • Be patient with the children and give them time to say what they need to say, rather than finishing sentences for them or immediately responding to their nonverbal cues.
  • Address all children and adults by name. This is a sign of respect ad helps the children learn and recognize each others’ names. Try not to refer to children just as “honey,” “sweetie,” etc.
  • When we tell children to “use your words” to resolve a conflict, please keep in mind that they may not know what words to use. It is more helpful to model the language that would be appropriate in the situation.

Featured in Plymouth Magazine

Example Image

Celebrating Service to the Country “North of Boston”

More than 400 alumni and friends gathered on February 3, 2015, to celebrate former New Hampshire Governor John Lynch as the twenty-second recipient of the PSU Alumni Association’s Robert Frost Contemporary American Award. The event, held at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, NH, featured special guests including the Plymouth State Chamber Singers, led by Professor […]

Example Image

Student Spotlight: Mae Williams ’14G A Twenty-first-century Preservationist

When Mae Williams ’14G enrolled in the Master of Arts in Historic Preservation program in the fall of 2012, she was drawn to the strength of a program in which, she says, “The professors are not academics locked away amidst a pile of books, but are actually out in the field on a daily basis, […]

Example Image

Wordsworth Meets Twitter: Teaching English in the Digital Age

Let’s face it: not all English majors aspire to a career in academia, so how do we help our students understand the role their English education plays in professional environments?