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Language and Literacy: Infants & Toddlers


Language development is the foundation for a child's ability to interact with the world. In a way, communicating is an infant's first purpose in life. A baby relies on everyone else to somehow understand her needs. Older children have more vocabulary but they still rely on us to understand and model ways to communicate. This workshop focuses on how young children start developing language and how we can help them.




Think of some questions that you have about language development in infants and write them down. How do you think babies learn to talk and understand? What are the ways they have to communicate? What do you think helps them learn language?


Field Visit

As you watch, look for things that the child care provider does that you would find helpful. What do you expect to see?


Follow-up Discussion

How does the way you communicate with an infant change when you are communicating with a toddler? What are good practices for narrating events or activities?


Activity: Megaphones

Here's your chance to think about how to apply what you have learned. What would you need to do this activity yourself? What are the important parts? What are children learning?

More Workshops
Conflict Resolution
Language and Literacy: Print-Rich Environment
Play and Creativity
Preventing Childhood Obesity
Supporting Children with Special Needs
Using TV to Help Children Learn
Language and Literacy: Storytelling
Celebrating Diversity



"Tips on Creating Language-Rich Environments for Infants" (413K)
"Tips on Reading with Young Children" (835K)
Stacking Cups (360K)
Peek-A-Boo (408K)
Megaphones (530K)
Homemade Tent (392K)
Homemade Books for Infants and Toddlers (730K)


Related Episodes
Promoting Language Development
The Importance of Storytime


Active Learning Tips
Here are some tips to get you started:
Keep questions handy as you watch. Use them as a guide to taking notes
Review questions before viewing as a reminder of what you want to learn.
Ask yourself what you would have said if you were a panel member on the show.
Use questions after viewing to reflect on what you currently do and how you might integrate perspectives or ideas from the program.
Tape a show and watch it more than once using different questions each time to focus on different kinds of information.
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