Talking together

Language is one of the most important gifts you give your child. But how do you give it? The answer is simple. Speak your language with your child at home every day! Click on the buttons below to find out how.

Our babies need us to talk to them, the more words they hear the better talkers they become. Here are ways you can Talk, Listen and Cuddle with your child everyday.

Home is a place where your little one is most confident and spends the majority of their day. It is the perfect place to help them learn to talk, in whatever language you speak.

Being outdoors is the perfect time to point out and name new things. View more outdoor ideas to help develop your child’s vocabulary and understanding here.

Singing is one of the most simple ways to help your child remember words and sounds. Here are the most popular rhymes voted for by families in Essex.

Why is home language important?

The language you speak with your children is the first language they will learn. It is their first connection to you, to the rest of their family, and to their culture and community. It is the language they first use to learn about the world around them. It is the language that helps them get “set for life” – and you are a central part of that process! This is one of the many ways parents are their children’s first teachers.

What are the benefits of using your home language?

Using your home language connects your children to your family. It also provides a connection to your important cultural traditions, and to friends and neighbours who speak the same language. Using your home language allows you to teach your children, and to learn new things together. You can talk about new experiences and words; you can practise
letters and numbers. All of these things are an important part of your children’s early learning – and it will be easier and more fun for you if you do it in your most comfortable language.

Will my children get confused using two languages?

Young children can learn two or more languages at the same time. They learn quickly when they have lots of experiences with adults who speak with and listen to them. Sometimes children will combine words or phrases from both languages. That’s OK! It may sound as though they are confused, but they are actually learning the rules and vocabulary from both languages and sorting them out in their brains. It is a sign of good learning and thinking.

What can I do at home?

Tell stories and read to your children in your home language. Share rhymes, chants, songs, and poems you learned as a child. Look for fun activities happening in your language, such as story time at your local library, local festivals and cultural events. Look for bilingual books, wordless books, or books in your home language at your nearest public library.

Our top tips on talking together

  • Oct102016

    Through the eyes of a child – 1-2 years

    A short film  from the Communication Trust, narrated by Kathy Burke, with  helpful tips to support our 1-2 year olds…

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  • Sep282016

    Yummy Harvest Soup

      Have  fun in the kitchen this harvest making some Yummy Harvest Soup. Little ones love to join in with…

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  • Sep262016

    It’s Always Time to Rhyme!

    Singing and listening to nursery rhymes are a REALLY  important part of your little one’s development.  Nursery rhymes were invented to help…

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  • Sep262016

    Michael Rosen – Tips for Reading Bedtime Stories

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  • Aug012016

    5 activities to support attachment

    A ‘secure attachment’ is vital for a child’s development, but what does this mean? It means tuning in to your…

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50 things to do

Looking for things to do? Why not download our ultimate list of ’50 things to do before you’re 5′?

Games and Rhymes

Play games with our TLC friends and sing along to your favourite nursery rhymes.


Learn the best ways to improve your child’s language and communication at their different ages.