By 3 years of age, a child should be using 200-300 words consistently. That is A LOT and can be overwhelming for parents who have a child who has an expressive language delay. My “repeat-expand-repeat” technique is very effective way of talking with a child to expand vocabulary and length of utterance (combining words together to make a sentence).
This technique can be used ALL DAY LONG when talking with a child.
How to perform Repeat-Expand-Repeat
The repetition portion helps to build vocabulary, the expanding portion helps to lengthen utterances as well as build vocabulary, and the final repeat is just another verbal model. There is a lot of learning to be had with this simple technique!
Got it? Yes? No? If not, don’t worry! Keep reading. You can practice this technique with the "game" below.
A book and time to read with a caregiver
How To Play:
There are a few ways to use Repeat-Expand-Repeat while reading depending on the language level of your child.
First things first, grab a book, sit down with your child, and start reading. As you read, have your child point to pictures or name pictures. Once your child says a word or phrase, use the Repeat-Expand-Repeat technique. Repeat what your child says to give validation. Then repeat the word or phrase while adding a word or two. Wait a few moments to see if your child will repeat your expanded phrase. If your child repeats, yeah, success! If your child does not repeat, repeat it one more time and move on.
Parent and child are picking out a book.
Parent and child reading a book.