Modelling sentence structure for your child


Children who say their words in the wrong order or use the wrong tense can sound cute…. for a while, but then it begins to affect their social interactions.

Common Examples of word confusion include:

  •       Saying “I can have that” instead of “can I have that please”
  •       “Tomorrow, I went to the zoo” instead of “Yesterday, I went to the zoo”
  •       “I can’t know” instead of “I don’t know”
  •       “I putted my hat on” instead of “I put my hat on”
  •       “We goed to the shops” instead of “we went to the shops”.
  •       “Emma wants the apple” instead of “I want the apple”.

Using words in the wrong order or with the wrong tense can impact your child by:

  •       Making them sound younger than their age
  •       Making it difficult for them to accurately get their message across to others
  •       Lowering their self-esteem because others don’t understand them
  •       People misinterpreting what they are trying to say

A few simple strategies just might do the trick to help get the word order correct. Try these with your child:

  •       Model the use of correct sentence structure to your child in everyday conversation.
  •       Don’t jump in – let your child finish their sentence first before correcting them.
  •       Narrate – as you go about your day with your little helper, talk about everything together. This provides an opportunity to model lots of great sentences to your child.
  •       Games – develop games that require your child to repetitively use a correct grammatical formation (e.g. when working on requesting starting with “I” you could get your child to requests parts of a game, such as a puzzle: “I want the apple please”, “I want the car please”).

For further support, call 1800 Kid Sense (1800 543 736) to book an appointment with one of our friendly Speech Pathologists.

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