School Age Child

Improve the language skills of your school age child without even thinking about it!

It is simple! All you have to know is how and what questions to ask as you talk throughout the day.

You DON'T have to add anything else to your day. No extra homework or practices, phew!

Language Skills: School Age Child

As our child grow and learn, language becomes more complicated. It is IMPORTANT to encourage language development.

Language abilities are tied to cognitive development and listening, reading, writing, math, and learning skills. 

Below I outline the TOP skills to target when talking with your school age child.

WH Questions

Being able to answer "Who," "what," "where," "when," "why," and "how" questions are crucial.

They lay foundation for our comprehension and conversational skills.

How To Teach "wh" questions: This is easy! Simply ask "wh" questions as you talk to your child or when your child tells you a story. Make sure to listen to your child's response and correct any errors.

Example: Your child tells you a story about school. Ask "who were you playing with?".....wait for a response. "where were you?"....wait for a response.

For younger children, start with "what," "who," and "where" questions. 


Sequencing is a complex language skill that is important for  understanding and telling stories and for time management and planning. 

How To Teach Sequencing:

  • When cooking or making a craft, talk about each step - Say what you are doing and what you need to do next. Have your child explain the order. 
  • Have your child explain "how to play" a game before you start.
  • At breakfast, plan out the day. Talk about what you are going to do first, second, next, last.

Key Sequence words: First, Second, Third, Next, Last, Finally

Narrative Development

Having a STRONG, unconscious template for narrative structure is IMPERATIVE. It is the foundation for understanding written and spoken stories as well as being able to write and speak properly. 

Once a child understands the basics of narrative structure, he then is able to develop more complex language skills such as predicting, finding the main idea, cause and effect, etc. 

Without a strong narrative structure, a child may have difficulty expressing ideas, understanding books in schools, learning new concepts, and recall of new information.

Narrative Structure Basics:

  1. TIme - When?
  2. Place - Where?
  3. Characters - Who?
  4. Problem - What? How?
  5. Steps to resolve problem
  6. Resolution - What happened?

How To Teach: During reading time, ask your child questions such as "who is in the story?" "where does the story take place?" "What is the problem?"

When your child is telling a story, ask key narrative structure questions if your school age child is leaving out important parts such as "where is this story taking place?" "when did this happen?"

DON'T directly teach narrative structure. Your child can easily learn it through practice and exposure.

If you have questions, feel free to leave me a note or contact us! We are here to help. For more ideas, check out school age child vocabulary games.

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Bridget is an ASHA certified, practicing speech language pathologist. She is passionate about providing parents with information on child speech and language development as well as provide functional, easy activities to do at home! Parents have the power to make a real difference. Follow Bridget at Facebook and Pinterest for more fun!

Author of  child language development eBook series

› School Age Child