Culture & Language

Planned Language Approach: Oral Language and Vocabulary

Oral language and vocabulary includes children's speaking ("expressive") and listening ("receptive") skills. Children learn to recognize and develop the sounds of the languages they hear, as well as use a growing vocabulary of new and varied words. Their skills get stronger as they interact with adults and older peers who model language and support children's own language use. Because children learn the languages they hear and use most often, they can develop early language and vocabulary skills in more than one language. Explore resources to promote children's oral language and vocabulary development at home and in early childhood education programs.

Oral Language and Vocabulary

This summary introduces oral language and vocabulary, which is the foundation of early language and literacy development. Discover the role culture plays in language learning and six research-based principles to guide language learning at home and in group care settings. Review examples of effective practices at different stages of children's development and in various early learning settings.

How Parents and Families Support Oral Language and Vocabulary

Discover strategies parents and families can use to help infants, toddlers, and preschoolers develop key skills necessary for their later reading success. The resource includes examples of how the research-based strategies are used in daily life.

Joan Talks About the Big 5: Oral Language and Vocabulary

Kindergartner Joan tells us about the language and literacy skills she has learned since birth. Joan's stories outline how knowledgeable adults provided quality environments, resources, and intentional and planned instruction that supported her language and literacy learning. Reading Joan's stories are a fun and interesting way to learn about the Big 5.

Additional Resources

Review Exploring Joan Talks: A Resource Guide for Training and Technical Assistance Providers when using Joan Talks about the Big 5 to help Head Start and child care programs implement a Planned Language Approach.

Watch the Focus on Oral Language and Vocabulary webinar to learn more about this topic.

Last Updated: August 1, 2019