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Learning to speak is one of most important and one of the most difficult skills that a child learns. It may seem that it happens naturally but parents play a significant role in the process. This is all the more important when learning a minority language.

The more that children are spoken to in Irish, the greater the chance that they will become a good speaker, full of confidence and happiness within themselves.

  • Talk to the children throughout the day, whether you are breastfeeding, bathing or nappy changing.
  • Speak about the things you see on your way to the shops or the supermarket. Speak about the things that the child seems to have an interest in.
  • Look at the child when you are speaking to them and give them a chance to respond to the conversation.
  • Respond to the child’s whining.
  • Lie down with them to read books or chat about the pictures.
  • Have fun with rhymes and poems.
  • Listen carefully to the child and give them a chance to finish what they are saying.
  • If they say something incorrect, say it the correct way.
  • Watch the television together so you can discuss what is happening in the programmes.