(GIFTED: I was offered a free place on the course with no obligation to review it. All opinions within this review are my own and are not sponsored.)
When Ronni, who runs Multicultural Motherhood, offered me a spot on her online course Raising Talkers: How to teach your child to talk aimed at children aged 0-5, I jumped at the chance. All three of my children fall within that age bracket (or at least they did at the time, my eldest recently turned 6) and I have been working on improving the way I communicate with all of them, especially since my 4 year old is currently learning how to read and the baby has started babbling! I am also currently trying to teach the older two Arabic.
How is the course delivered?
The course is delivered within a private group on Facebook and consists of video modules, workbooks, live Q&A sessions and activity ideas that I found particularly useful. All the content is backed by research and is evidence based. Ronni is a Speech and Language Therapist specialising in bilingualism and autism, so the content you are getting is from an expert and not just off the cuff anecdotal experience with her own children. You also get lifetime access to all the content so you’ll always have this information to hand for future children and can take your time with going through the content (although I recommend making use of the live Q&A sessions!)
What will I learn?
You will learn how to foster a good environment for communicating with your child and how to help your child to talk in this course that covers four specific areas:
- Typical speech and language development – taking you through speech and language development from birth to age five along with helpful checklists to work through to determine where your child is currently at.
- Atypical speech and language development – this will be particularly useful to parents who have children with or suspect their children to have, autism and/or stuttering. Ronni covers how autism and stuttering contribute to speech delays and disruptions and offers relevant advice for how to navigate this.
- Tips, advice, strategies and resources – this was my favourite module. This one is packed with tips for successful communication and includes strategies to use by age which as a busy parent I found incredibly helpful. This also contains practical advice for introducing bilingualism such as introducing sounds earlier so children are able to recognise them better. I can identify with this as my eldest was only introduced to Arabic letters at the age of 18 months or so and my daughter was exposed to them much earlier and finds pronunciation much easier than he does.
- Additional tips, ideas for games that will help implement what you’ve learned with your child – this one really helped me think out of the box when it came to implementing the advice and I’ll show you some examples below!
What have you implemented with your children?
My children and I have benefitted massively from the course – here are just a few examples:
My 4 month old – She’s babbling lots now and I’m repeating the sounds that she makes back to her – although I did feel silly at first – she seems to gets so excited when I do it and makes even more sounds in response – so it’s really like we’re having a ‘conversation’! I’m also really resisting the urge – as Ronni advises – to make her copy sounds or words back (anyone else guilty of trying to get their baby to say Mama?!)
My 6 year old – I’ve stopped holding back from using vocabulary I think will be too hard for him to grasp. I do this with my four year old as well. I try to use different words to describe something they already know and often they know exactly what I mean. For instance, on the way home from a bike ride yesterday, anticipating that they were going to start squabbling, I said, “You can both ride alongside one another on the pavement, there’s no need to compete!” My son asked, “What’s compete?”and then said, “Oh you mean race Mummy!” Ordinarily, I’d have immediately answered instead of pausing and that’s one of the things that Ronni talks about – offering our children the opportunity to understand what we have just said.
My 4 year old – I’m using simple, clear and smaller instructions instead of lengthy, detailed ones and also avoiding having unrealistic expectations of what is expected at this stage of her development. I find that this helps with our learning and day to day things. I also tried Ronni’s recommendation for spending 30 minutes having one to one time with each child. She has responded so well to this. I’ve been able to identify gaps in her communication and we’ve tried some activities to help with that!
How do I sign up?
The course is currently open for registration at a discounted price until the 12th of October. You can sign up here to take advantage of the discounted price before the course begins on the 17th of October.