Step Two: Applaud

Babies are always looking for their parents’ approval. Your enthusiasm will motivate baby to learn and grow in self-esteem and confidence. Here are three ways we can encourage baby and some useful phrases to applaud his or her effort in English. (For Spanish learners, find the translations in Parent English.)

Confirm

It is important to communicate to your baby that you appreciate his or her effort. When he or she shows understanding or tries to express something in the target language, confirm that you understand him or her. If you are reading a book and baby points to a cat when you say cat, say, Yes, that’s the cat! Very good!

Express

Show your baby lots of enthusiasm when speaking in the target language. Smile a lot and exaggerate the sounds and gestures to project a positive and relaxed energy.

Gratify

When your child asks for something in the target language, it’s a good idea to give it to him or her (within reason, of course). For example, if your baby says ball, let him play with it. If it is not possible at that moment, it is important you still recognize his or her effort and express your satisfaction. Then you change the subject. Yes, that is your ball! Very good! But now it’s time for your bath. Let’s go…

Useful Phrases

  • Yes!
  • Very good!
  • Great job!
  • Give me five!
  • You did it!
  • I’m so proud of you!

See more phrases and expressions to applaud your baby in English and Spanish

Step Three: Repeat