As parents and educators, we play a crucial role in supporting children’s language development. One way to do this is through scaffolding, a technique that involves providing support and guidance to help children build upon their existing language skills. In this blog, we will explore what scaffolding is, provide examples of how it can be used, and discuss things to consider when scaffolding your child’s language development.

What is Scaffolding?

Scaffolding is a technique that involves providing support and guidance to help children build upon their existing language skills. It is a process in which an educator or caregiver helps a child learn a new skill by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable steps. Scaffolding supports your child as they develop their language skills, helping them to gradually become more independent and confident in their abilities.

Examples of Scaffolding

There are many different ways to scaffold a child’s language development, depending on their individual needs and abilities. Here are a few examples:

Expanding on Vocabulary: When a child uses a word in a sentence, an educator or caregiver can expand on their vocabulary by providing additional words that are related in meaning. For example, if a child says, “I see a dog,” an adult can respond by saying, “Yes, I see a big brown dog.”

Asking Open-Ended Questions: Instead of asking yes or no questions, ask open-ended questions that encourage children to use language to express their thoughts and feelings. For example, instead of asking, “Did you have fun at preschool?” an adult can ask, “What did you do at preschool today?”

Encouraging Conversation: Engage in conversation with children and encourage them to ask questions and share their ideas. This helps to develop their ability to communicate effectively and fosters a love of language and learning.

Things to Consider

When scaffolding your child’s language development, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1.  Follow Your Child’s Lead: Pay attention to your child’s interests and follow their lead. This helps to keep them engaged and motivated to learn.
  2. Be Patient: Scaffolding takes time and patience. It’s important to allow your child to learn at their own pace and to provide support and guidance as they need it.
  3.  Use Simple Language: Use simple language and avoid using jargon or technical terms that may be confusing for your child.
  4.  Provide Opportunities for Practice: Provide opportunities for your children to practise their language skills in different contexts, such as during daily routines, at the shops, or while playing at the park.

At The Owl and the Pussycat Preschool, we believe every child deserves the support they need to develop strong language skills. By using scaffolding techniques, we provide the guidance and support that children need to become confident and effective communicators. By following your child’s lead, being patient, using simple language, and providing opportunities for practice, we can scaffold children’s language development and set them up for success.

Book a tour today to learn more about The Owl and the Pussycat Preschool philosophy and practices.