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As a new listener, your child doesn't know what sound is yet or what's important to listen to. That’s where you come in to teach them! You can use the Listening and Spoken Language (LSL) strategy “Be a Director.” That means you purposely direct your child to listen to the people and sounds around them. This helps your child learn which ones are essential!
If your child is a new listener (meaning they’re a young baby or toddler and only recently started using their devices), begin with the simple word “Listen.” When you use the word “Listen,” you’re training your little one to pay attention, get ready, and know there is something important happening!
Next, pause after the word “Listen” and name what your baby is hearing. Like this: “Listen . . . I hear the music playing” or “Listen . . . I hear Daddy talking.”
For an older child or more experienced listener, use the same strategy and you'll discover many places outside of home to “Be a Director.” Think of all the routine things that happen such as driving in the car, “Listen . . . I hear a fire truck.” Or at the grandparents’ house “Listen . . . I hear Nana’s dog barking.”
“Be a Director” also gets your child’s listening attention before you start talking to them. If you're telling them something, wait until they respond to your call to "Listen!" before you begin talking. For example: “Listen (child’s name) ...[pause and wait for them to pay attention before continuing]... we are going Bye-Bye” or “Listen (child’s name) ...[pause and wait]... let’s pick up the toys.”
You’re building a life skill for your young listener when you use “Be a Director.” When you think about it, you’ll stop using this strategy as your child grows up to be an accomplished listener. Your child’s listening attention is a skill they’ll need throughout their learning years — and it will be something they carry for a lifetime of listening!
There are 12 key LSL strategies you can use as you interact with your child to help them develop their listening, talking, thinking, and reading skills.
Learn 12 key strategies to support families on their listening and spoken language journey.
This learning experience will emphasize Auditory-Verbal (AV) teaching strategies to maximize a child's auditory potential from babies to school age.
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