Stay up-to-date with the latest news and developments.

Meal Time! Talk Time!

1st Aug 2017

We all know that eating a meal together as a family with the telly turned off is incredibly important in terms of healthy eating and connection – but did you know that the simple act of sharing a meal can improve your children’s vocabulary?

Family therapist Anne Fishel says researchers have found that for young kids, conversations at the dinner table boost vocabulary even more than being read to. Researchers counted the number of “rare words” – those not found on a list of 3000 most common words – that the family used during dinnertime chats.

It may seem odd, especially if you feel like the only things you say during dinnertime are, “Sit down!” and “Here comes the plane”, but young children learned a gob-smacking 1000 rare words at the dinner table, compared with only 143 from parents reading aloud from a book.

And why is vocabulary so important? Children who have a large vocabulary read earlier and more easily.

You still need to read The Gruffalo for the millionth time, though. Sorry.

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Free Workshop!

16th Jun 2017

This free workshop will cover ways to present your best curriculum vitae, how to introduce yourself to prospective employers, interview training AND tips on how to speak English clearly - which is exactly what employers in New Zealand are looking for! As well as many other things that you will find out about!

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60% of children start school with their oral language below expectations

3rd Mar 2017

This worrying statistic comes from a school in Southland after surveying their new entrants when they had been at school for around six weeks. This survey is based on the test “Record of oral language” Marie Clay.

This delay means teachers have to spend more time bringing the children’s oral language up to the correct level before starting to teach them to read and spell.

What’s your tongue got to do with it?

In terms of correct articulation (how we say sounds and words) sometimes it’s just a matter of where to place our tongue. Correct tongue placement is actually crucial to clear speech. Unless there’s a physiological reason for incorrect tongue placement, exercises for the tongue and teaching the children the correct techniques to enunciate sounds, then words then sentences can improve a child’s speech rapidly.

The best time (in my opinion) to help children with speech difficulties is 3 1/2 - 6 years of age. This is when you can stop any bad habits from forming and get the tongue working in the correct way.

So, how do you teach a child how to use their tongue correctly?

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Get in touch with Miriam to discuss how she can help you.