Conversation - Extending vocabulary

Conversation – Extending vocabulary

Ditch the Jargon, Embrace the Chat: Why Conversation Matters Most

Have you ever come across educational terms that sound like they belong in a science fiction novel? We’re talking about things like “sustained shared thinking,” “serve and return,” and “cognitive reciprocity.” Don’t worry, you’re not alone!

While these terms might be used in research papers, for parents and teachers, the core message is simple: conversation is key! Let’s break down those fancy terms into something more relatable:

  • Sustained Shared Thinking: Imagine a conversation that’s not just a back-and-forth, but a collaborative exploration of ideas. You’re both actively listening, building on each other’s thoughts, and working towards a shared understanding. Think brainstorming with a friend!
  • Serve and Return: This one’s especially important for young children. It describes the natural give-and-take of communication. Your child “serves” by initiating – a gesture, a word, a babble. Your responsive “return” could be a smile, a word back, or a playful action. This back-and-forth interaction lays the foundation for future conversations.
  • Cognitive Reciprocity: Simply put, it’s about influencing and learning from each other. In a conversation, you share your thoughts, your child shares theirs, and both of you walk away with a new perspective.

So why ditch the jargon? Because the most important thing is to connect with your child. Forget the fancy terms and focus on the simple act of conversation. Here are some ways to make it happen:

  • Set aside distraction-free time. Put down the phones, turn off the TV, and give your child your full attention.
  • Ask open-ended questions. Instead of “Do you like this?” try “What do you think about this color?”
  • Actively listen. Pay attention to their words and body language, and show genuine interest.
  • Build on their ideas. Show them that their thoughts matter by incorporating them into the conversation.

Remember, conversation isn’t just about academics; it’s about building a strong bond with your child. So ditch the jargon, embrace the chat, and watch your relationship blossom!