Originally a full-time preschool teacher, Dr. Rene Hackney now holds a Master?s in school psychology and a PhD. in developmental psychology from George Mason University. She trained at the Developmental Clinic at Children?s National Medical Center and for the public schools, teaching in parenting programs at each. She has also acted as a consultant to several area preschools.
For the last four years, Dr. Hackney has owned and lectured for Parenting Playgroups, Inc, a parenting resource center and preschool classroom in Alexandria Virginia. She has offered workshops to a wide
range of parent, teacher and social work groups during this time.
Workshop topics include eight hours on positive discipline techniques, five hours on early academic issues and common issues such as sibling rivalry and potty training. All workshops provide well researched lecture, in-class practice and open discussion time. Additionally she hosts a monthly parenting focused book club and fun play programs to introduce the preschool setting to young families.
Dr. Hackney is married and has two young children of her own.
Host: What else can parents do to encourage early speech?
Rene Hackney: Encouraging early speech, there are several other ways. Parents can ask open-ended questions rather than choice questions or choice questions rather than yes-no questions. Yes-no questions are basic. They require over one word answer. So, if the parent says Are you thirsty? Well that just require say yes.
If they offer a choice Would you like milk or water? At least a child is then required to say a little bit mor, milk or water. But even more than that, what would you like to drink? That s some much more open-ended question and it encourages the child to respond with more Language.
So, asking those more open-ended, it's also a good practice to read aloud to children everyday. Reading aloud to young children, it gives them a good example of what language sounds like. Often, that language has been so well edited that it gives you good example for sentence structure.
It also introduces a lot of new vocabulary. When you pick up books about different topics children are exposed to a wider range of language. Parents can also talk about cause and effect. Cause and effect things are walking into a room and saying Oh! Mummy is going to turn on the light. and then hitting the light switch, The lights are on. and you are giving them that language that running commentary as you go.
These are things that we tend not to think about, that we tend not to give language for. So, it s just another opportunity. It's also good to building simple concept, things like location words up, down, in, on, over, under that language is seen as been pre-math and pre-science words.
So, those are conceptual words that children can then build on in the future. It's also a good practice, when children are young to not repeat mispronunciation. So, when a child is cute as it is says Can I have a rambed? for banded if the parent goes Oh! That was so cute, here is a rambed. they are just encouraging that mispronunciation, so, for a parent to say Oh! You need a banded. and really give them the correct pronunciation. So, overtime they are more likely to use it.