Ask, Talk, Listen


Take time to talk with and listen to your child in your home language. You might be surprised at the answers!

Tools and Materials

None needed

Steps to take

Begin a conversation by asking your child a question. Give your full attention to your child's answer. Continue taking turns in conversation giving your child plenty of time to answer.

At Home

If you have 3 minutes

Ask simple questions, comment on your child's answers.

  • At the dinner table
  • "What is your favorite thing to eat?" "What was your favorite thing you did at at school?", or say, "Tell me about your day."

If you have more time

  • Read a book with your child, ask questions and comment. Some possible questions are "What will happen next?"," Why do you think this happened?"
  • When coloring or painting, "tell me about your picture."
  • Looking out the window, "tell me about the weather."
  • Offer choices of clothing, foods and activities. Encourage language. Ask your child why they chose a particular outfit.

On the Go

If you have 3 minutes   

  • While shopping ask, "What will we buy?", "How many do we need?", "What will we cook with this?"

If you have more time

  • Ask questions like, "Where will we go?"
  • Talk about a favorite book and what happened, talk about family stories and happenings. (Remember when?) Give your child a story-starter with your child's name or a familiar person "Once Upon a time there was a little girl named     and she     ". Continue to take turns, elaborate on the story, or use your child's name to tell a story of what he/she did today.

Words to Know

Conversation    Discussion   Listen Question Remember What    Who  Where    When    Why    How

Possible Observations

Child listens to person speaking; child responds to questions; takes turns in conversation; child speaks clearly; child initiates conversation