Enhancing Language Development in Childhood

Enhancing Language Development in Childhood

Butler Community College

$110.00 Enroll Now!

Instructor-Led Course
Hours: 24
Duration of Access: 6 weeks
Start Dates: Jan 21, Feb 18, Mar 18, Apr 15, May 13
6,195 Students
have taken this course.


A new session of each course starts monthly. If enrolling in a series of two or more courses, please be sure to space the start date for each course at least two months apart.

Week 1

Wednesday - Lesson 01

How do children learn language? Play! And not with flash cards, or anything else that you can buy. Children are born with a complete package of language-learning tools. The only accessory they need is you, helping them unlock their natural instincts for language. After reading this first section, you'll be using play and instinct to communicate soundlessly with a newborn, to help him fill his language-building toolbox, and to create a stimulating environment for language development.

Friday - Lesson 02

Imagine a database of sounds in your child’s brain. Where do these sounds come from? How does she file, sort, and choose to use these sounds to communicate? In today's lesson, we'll look at why her mind is made for these remarkable tasks, and you'll learn straightforward ways you can lend a hand (even in the form of sign language!). This lesson also includes a fascinating overview of brain and mouth anatomy.

Week 2

Wednesday - Lesson 03

You say, “Shelly just said, ‘ball’!” But your friend says, “Nah, that was just babbling.” Who's right? Does something count as a real word if it isn’t pronounced perfectly? In this lesson, we'll explore what makes a word real and how to interpret your child’s patterns of simplifying early language. You'll also start using a journal to uncover the rich potential in your child’s one- and two-word phrases.

Friday - Lesson 04

Once you understand the mechanics of hearing and understanding, your role in encouraging language can be powerful, simple, and fun! Many caregivers ask at this stage when they should start to worry about language delays. In today's lesson, we'll soothe your concerns by discussing what to watch for, when to seek assistance (and from which type of specialist), and when to stop worrying and keep playing! We'll look through a list of typical first words that you can use to trace your child’s communication explosion.

Week 3

Wednesday - Lesson 05

Can you guess when a baby’s brain grows the most? How do you facilitate this growth? Again, the answer is play! In this lesson, we'll match favorite infant-caregiver games to the neurological functions they stimulate. You'll also learn how language affects the development of thinking skills, just as the function of thinking affects language development. Today we'll explore how to keep this circle of growth cycling.

Friday - Lesson 06

Your kiddo is talking, but you’re not done yet! Although two-word phrases, such as “get ball” certainly communicate an idea, your child will keep refining his sentences as he grows. Today you'll find out how to help him progress to past tense, contractions, pronouns, and conjunctions. You'll also learn about the fascinating thought processes behind questions. Don’t forget your journal!

Week 4

Wednesday - Lesson 07

Wow–now we have listening, speaking, sounds, words, and sentences. What more is there? Lots! Is it still fun? Does she still need you? Of course! In today's lesson, we'll continue with a few more do's and don'ts for caregivers, emphasizing our favorite learning tool: games!

Friday - Lesson 08

Expanding on our earlier anatomy lesson, today you'll learn how sounds depend on strong, agile mouth muscles. Before you start thinking about tongue push-ups, remember we always focus on maximizing the opportunities within natural interactions. A discussion of feeding—including your choices of bottles, cups, and straws—is key. We'll answer complex and controversial questions about pacifiers, sippy cups, and thumb sucking, and I'll provide some great tips for easing necessary transitions.

Week 5

Wednesday - Lesson 09

Some sounds sound fun (like boing!), and some sounds feel fun (like zzzzzz). What does this kind of fun teach if it doesn't use precise words? In today's lesson, you'll find out what you're teaching when you encourage your little one to play with sounds. You'll also learn which speech games will help you make the connection from speech to reading.

Friday - Lesson 10

Now you know that speech, language, and communication are different, but related, topics. Using your knowledge of how sounds make language, in this lesson, you'll learn how language is used to communicate and connect with others. We call this social use of language. Today you'll learn how to help your talker become a conversationalist!

Week 6

Wednesday - Lesson 11

Although children follow similar development processes, no two walk the same path. As more is discovered about learning, the lines between different, delayed, and disability grow foggier. Demystifying these terms is easier when you learn about different learning styles, and when you understand the styles used by you and your child. While you can’t eavesdrop on your child’s thoughts, what you learn in today's lesson will help you help her connect her learning style and her use of language.

Friday - Lesson 12

Teaching a child the alphabet tends to be our first step toward reading, but is it where literacy begins? While this skill can be gratifying for adults to see, literacy begins in the brain and is nurtured with fun and games. As you've learned about language skills, literacy doesn’t come in a box from the store. When you understand instincts and use them in fun and play, they come from you.


As a parent of a child with a speech delay and a child care provider I thought the course was terrific! The instructor provided excellent material to use for all levels of speech development. She provided the development "basics" as well as information to enhance speech from infancy on.

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