This is the last blog in our series on speech development in children. See what other topics we’ve covered to learn more. As we have discussed in previous blogs, our little ones don’t learn to speak clearly all at once, but slowly over a number of years. This process of learning involves making mistakes and trying over and over again. Our children need to have their speech errors pointed out to them from time to time, otherwise they may never notice that they way they say it is not the way adults say it! However, no one wants to feel constantly judged and corrected (our kids are no exception). Recasting is a more gentle way of pointing out our children’s errors without stopping the conversation or making them feel self conscious.
When you notice an error, perhaps they say ‘tat’ instead of ‘cat’, simply repeat the word to them with a little extra emphasis on the ‘k’. Something like ‘yes, that’s a Cat’. You can then repeat the word a few times, to give them extra chances to hear the sound. ‘What a pretty cat, I wonder who owns this cat? Do you think it would be a good idea to pat the cat?’. There is no need to make your child repeat the sentence, or to try and say the word themselves simply move on in the conversation.
This technique works particularly well when you are trying to help your little one learn sounds like “f” and “s”, as these sounds can easily be stretched out nice as long to give your child the best chance to notice the difference between their pronunciation of the word and yours. For example, if your child is saying “pish” for “fish”, you can say “yes, it’s a ffffffish”.
You can also use this technique when you notice grammatical errors in your child’s language. For example, your child might say “I braked it” or “I broken it” regarding one of their toys. You can recast by saying “you broke it? Oh no! You love that toy, what a shame it broke”. Once again, it is not necessary to get your child to repeat the sentence or correct themselves. You need not even tell them they made an error. Our little ones are always learning and always listening.
Written by Bec,
Newcastle Speech Pathology
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