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

3rd Mar 2017

A Southland school that surveyed their new entrants found that 60% started school with their oral language below expectations.

This worrying statistic was based on the test “Record of Oral Language”, where new entrants had been at school for about six weeks. The delay in oral learning 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? Good question. 

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Are you seeking New Zealand residency?

14th Dec 2016

Start now! email or phone 0276004631 to get your personalised programme underway so you can sit and PASS your IELTS test with ease. 

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