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.)
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!”
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.
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…
- Very good!
- Great job!
- Give me five!
- You did it!
- I’m so proud of you!