The old saying — a picture is worth a thousand words — is beautifully demonstrated by a collection of non-verbal videos at SpeechisBeautiful.com. The miracle of the web allows an expert to collect a group of relevant materials — in this case delightful, but wordless professionally produced film shorts — and share them with teachers and parents.
Children can watch the videos, observe how problems are solved, and then figure out how to talk about what they’ve seen. While the film shorts have no speech, they do have delightful sound effects, providing excellent learning opportunities for children who need conversational encouragement. Teachers who work with children of all ages will recall students of theirs who would benefit from this strategy.
Sarah, the host of the website is a bilingual speech pathologist, and she has curated a collection that will please and encourage the most timid speaker or slightly nervous bilingual child.
The image on the right describes Ormie the Pig, one video in Sarah’s collection.
I just finished reading an engaging National Public Radio (NPR) reportabout Dana Suskind, MD, a University of Chicago surgeon, learning about her new book, 30 Million Words, Building a Child’s Brain. Dr. Suskind, who notes that we should speak to babies all the time that they are awake — when we play, when we help them with things, when out on walks and whenever else, because it ensures that the best neural development takes place. Baby talk has a huge purpose.
After writing my previous post, Does Digital Life Distort our Conversation Skills? about Sherry Turkle’s new book, I was reminded about the people we see talking on mobile phones while pushing wide awake babies in strollers. But I also pictured myself grabbing a glance at my phone when my baby grandson gets especially engaged with a toy — a time when I should continue to, well, babbling away with him.