• Working within your child’s Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) is a powerful strategy for helping his language skills to get stronger.
  • The Zone of Proximal Development refers to the fact that there are some things your child can do with your support that he cannot yet do on his own.
  • This is where a great deal of crucial learning can take place – in helping your child to reach just a little further beyond what he can do all by himself.
  • As formal as it sounds, working in your child’s ZPD is very easy to do!
  • One of the first steps to working successfully in your child’s ZPD for language development lies in having a good idea of where you child is now working, language-wise.
  • For example, if your child is now able to label things with single words, then your task is to imitate his spoken/ signed words back to him while adding one more word!
  • If your child is using two-word combinations, then imitate those and add one more word to make it a brand new three-word combination! Etc.
  • In this way, you are building vocabulary and grammar skills with your child, while following his lead, enriching his social bonding with you, and encouraging him to communicate!
  • Sample: Child: “I see a truck!” Mom: “Yes! It’s a noisy, red truck!” Child: “Noisy, red truck!”

Tip #7: The Bottom Line:
Add a little bit more detail or length to the words/sentences your child says, repeat them back to him. Have him say the new, longer version back to you.