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How to teach a child to answer questions?

(25 Posts)
zzzzz Sun 22-Sep-13 11:07:16

Old thinking says drop one language.
New thinking says work with both.

I think on the whole the more successful your communication is the more you will practice so which form (ie language,sign, reading etc) is really immaterial.

SeArch bilingual SALT. I'm on my phone so can't help .

sammythemummy Sun 22-Sep-13 08:16:48

paper lol the way my daughter speaks in jargon makes me think it must be a language!

zzz it would be interesting to find out who.

Currently my dd speaks a mixture of english n my mother tongue. I myself cannot hold a whole conversation in my mothers tongue so I have to fill in the gaps with English.

She can say a few things in both languages which is amazing to me, so maybe i should do stock phrases in both languages?

zzzzz Sat 21-Sep-13 23:20:53

There is at least one other bilingual child with SALT styley issues whose Mum posts though it has slipped my mind who!

paperlantern Sat 21-Sep-13 19:54:02

just English and his own little language (does that count? )

sammythemummy Sat 21-Sep-13 14:24:28

Anyone else's child bilingual?

sammythemummy Sat 21-Sep-13 14:23:26

I use toys when role playing paper lol

Im glad your sons making progress.

I will def use your last example of sad/cross face when asking her if shes ok

paperlantern Fri 20-Sep-13 22:00:46

ps "how are you" is a difficult one. Firstly the actual sentence is fairly meaningless. secondly it involves feelings. "are you ok?" is easier and sign-able. certainly a year or so ago I would have been jumping in and "translating"

we also practiced making exaggerated "happy face, sad face, cross face" making the faces whilst saying the words. are you feeling cross face or she is being happy face has been a perfectly valid descriptions in our housegrin

paperlantern Fri 20-Sep-13 21:39:46

completely naturally what's your name? what's your sister' s name? what do you want for... mind you what do you want was something we modelled/signed constantly from 2 1/4-4) "what do you want? you want a cup of juice? say I want a cup of juice?

what's the name of your teacher? he has rehersed ready for the return to school can answer naturally.

What's your sister's age irrelevant to him and he wouldn't be able to answer

paperlantern Fri 20-Sep-13 21:29:41

ideally to model you needed 2 "people", model it as you've put ds would most likely just repeat the lot.grin

ideally you need a place where
you're likely to get interaction, for us we practiced at local play gym where the noise levels were not too bad. so real person asks question "what's your name" I would get down to ds' level say and sign "say my name's .......". if I expected him to interact, I would also allow him quiet zone out time after (because it doesn't come naturally, he needed to think about it and he needs time in his own world toosmile )

signing helped immeasurably. other people made their speech clearer and made allowances if it took longer to respond. it also helps to get the idea of "say" as an instruction. so whenever ds is asked a question you can use "say.....".

sometimes we used the cuddly toy to model "hello teddy how are you today? " "teddy says....." (+ signing). solo "santa says "what do you want for Christmas?" (ds' name) says "a purple train" what do you want for Christmas? Then either ds would reply or i'd repeat (ds says).....

characters on tshirts were a short cut that made life easier for Christmas and parties. the "conversation" would sound pretty good.

giving ds easy escape routes to peace and quiet. made him more comfortable to interact too.

of your questions above he could probably answer 50%. he's six and most of the ones he can answer have come in the last 6 months. mostly I think it's about what has meaning to them and what questions are totally abstract. for example do you like school refers to something past tense (not easy) and a preference for something not concrete so totally impossible.

nowadays he is happy to greet people in the street. pretty good if he says good morning amusing if it's "hello what's your name? "grin

sammythemummy Fri 20-Sep-13 20:45:02

Is this how i would model it for her?
Me: Do you like your ice cream?
Me: yes, its nice

sammythemummy Fri 20-Sep-13 20:38:28

Zzzz she definitely gets the whats this/that question as well as whos this n wheres so and so, she will also ask me these quedtions back when she needs an answer. She picked up the whats this question from hearing me and her dad asking her.

paper how old is your ds? Does he answer these questions naturally now?

And with the why question she asks me why when i tell her off for something :s i dont know if its just a learnt behaviour but she uses it appropriately all the time

paperlantern Fri 20-Sep-13 19:47:42

and signing helped immeasurably. as much for managing the expectations of children and adults around ds aa for ds himself

paperlantern Fri 20-Sep-13 19:43:26

to echo the above posters stock phrases don't help immediately with understanding but it did give positive social interactions which otherwise he was struggling to have. increasing motivation to interact with the world.

Looking back I'm guessing ds' toy helped immeasurably. seriously all those variables gone, whats your name and who's this, 9 out of 10 times.

For is understanding did eventually come in the form of ds manipulating stock phrases for his own end. not in ever case though

zzzzz Fri 20-Sep-13 19:03:10

Some stock phrases can help but are unlikely to stimulate real understanding of Wh questions. They can be powerful "ins" to social interaction. My SALT gave us a list of the most common questions asked to an under 5. It included,

What's your name?
How old are you?
Do you go to school/nursery?
What class are you in?
What's your teacher called?
Do you like school?
How many brother/sisters do you have?
What are ^ their names?
How old is (sib)?
What do you want for Christmas? Do you like Easter eggs? Etc

Number one winning phrase of all time is "Hello. I'm XXXX, what's your name?"...... "Can I play/Do you want to play?"

sammythemummy Fri 20-Sep-13 19:02:14

Thanks for the responses, i will respond properly once i put her to bed but just wanted to quickly share that we randomly asked her whats your name question and she actually answered it with her name! I almost cried with excitement!

paperlantern Fri 20-Sep-13 18:28:04

also (again) she will hear the questions modelled alot. how many times will she actually have heard the answer.
ds at that age managed name. but didn't manage age questions until he could stick his hand out for 5.

paperlantern Fri 20-Sep-13 18:25:09

also at that age ds almost obsessively carried a toy. much like the tshirt most people asked him about the toy

paperlantern Fri 20-Sep-13 18:22:24

also she won't remember if it isn't relevant. santa claus was practiced for about half an hour in the line to see santa. he then remembered it at a later time. how are you before meeting friends. play parks were great for hi what's your name

paperlantern Fri 20-Sep-13 18:18:06

practice conversation that are predictable, Make use of the echolalia.model both question and response then repeat repeat repeat.
eg "say hello, what's your name?"
increase the number of "predictable" conversations your daughter "knows". eg how are you""fine"; "what do you want at Christmas?" work out a toy. clothes with characters on are great for this as conversion usually goes
person "hello how are you? "
child "fine"
person "whose on your tshirt?"
child 'lightening mcqueen. then ds would go off on one about lightening mcqueen and all the adult has to do is feign interestgrin

I think there is some caution in bearing in mind the why. for me it was to help ds understand the expectation that you do respond to people and to help him feel confident doing so. also the father Christmas one we practiced intensively so he actually got something from the grotto visit.

Ultimately he's working hard to interact with our world therefore equally I would expect others to respect the times when he needs to retreat

zzzzz Fri 20-Sep-13 17:47:07

I think there are several parts to learn, and you need to work out which bits she is struggling with.

The "Wh" words come in a particular order, so "who" and "where" are infinitely more straight forward than "what" or "why".

So does she understand what these questions mean?

I would take the language out of the response. So let her point to a picture or run to the place. If you are sure she "gets" it. Model the answer, I used to use two tones " ds says ,,,, it's daddy "

If she tries but gets it wrong just repeat the correct version.

There are some apps called "buddy bear" that ds enjoyed.

I don't think it is necessarily a fast process regardless of how smart you are. Ds is shockingly bright (ie high IQ) but only has a very light grasp of "why" at 8.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 20-Sep-13 17:31:46

You need to practice at a table.

Hold a teeny sweet in your hand that she can see. Ask her 'What's your name?' Then model 'x'. Then hand her the sweet.

Repeat, model 'x' and at any attempt from her (not her name or anything perfect, just a reaction) hand her the sweet.

Repeat, and repeat and repeat until she becomes disinterested in the sweets, expecting just a little bit more from her each time.

Stop when she is no longer interested in your sweets and try again when she next might be.

Give loads of praise all the time for any attempt.

zumbaleena Fri 20-Sep-13 16:12:34

Can u try modelling with her dad/partner? Your dd sounds smart....she,ll get it quite fast

sammythemummy Fri 20-Sep-13 15:45:21


Not as much now to questions she understands

zumbaleena Fri 20-Sep-13 12:40:25

Is she echolalic?

sammythemummy Fri 20-Sep-13 11:17:18


My dd (3) is good at making comments, answers some questions (whats that, whos this, wheres x) but ask her her name or how she is and she will repeat your question. It really upsets me when people bombard her with lots of questions and makes me realise she really needs a lot of work still sad

Are there any videos that teach children this?

Iv tried role playing, God knows iv said "how are you?" "im fine" like a billion times but she still wont get it!

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