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How to Teach a Toddler to Talk

Children rapidly learn to speak between the ages of 1 and 3. Here are some ways to foster your toddler's gift of gab.


  • Step 1: Create a proper environment Create a speech intensive environment for the child. The toddler should frequently be exposed to speech, songs, and stories.
  • TIP: Hearing stories read aloud gives children a chance to hear words they do not encounter in everyday speech.
  • Step 2: Use appropriate language Use single words, or simple combinations of words, when communicating with a child who is just beginning to talk. Use more complex patterns with more advanced toddlers.
  • Step 3: Talk about things that matter to the child Talk to toddlers about things that matter to them such as their toys, siblings, and food. Talk with the child, not at them.
  • Step 4: Adapt your teaching style Adapt your teaching style to the child's particular learning style. If lots of repetition is important to the toddler, use it.
  • Step 5: Engage the child in conversation Try to engage the child in conversation by asking more than "yes" or "no" questions. This encourages the toddler to experiment with more complex speech patterns.
  • FACT: Some experts believe that chewing food helps children develop the mouth coordination required for speech.

You Will Need

  • Speech-intensive environment
  • Simple word combinations
  • Meaningful conversation
  • Appropriate teaching style
  • Out-loud reading

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