For Language and Literacy Developments

"Tip 173: February 2023 - Creating a Language Center "
   February, 2023

Tip 173: February 2023 – Creating a Language Center

Website Educational Tip for Language and Literacy Development

Objectives of a Language Center:
Play provides the interaction of imagery, imitation, and language which
builds a foundation necessary for learning to read. Adults should
facilitate children’s learning through the enjoyment of reading
experimentation. There is no proven best method. The important factor seems
to be the enthusiasm. It is important for children to recognize that “talk”
can be written and that “written talk” can be read. This leads to a variety
of options to explore with young children.

Language centers have three main functions.

1. They provide looking and listening activities for young children.

2. They give children an area for hands-on experiences with communication

3. They provide a place to store materials easily accessible to young

Infants: Labeling Objects

Hearing language used constantly and meaningfully during a child’s routine
of the day becomes a powerful language lesson. For infants, point to
pictures in the book and name familiar objects. Adults should try to
describe the activities the child is engaged in, their emotions and what
they are looking at. This becomes a language activity where infants learn
language naturally by hearing it used in context.

Toddlers: Feedback about Stories

Understanding of stories, these may be shared through oral storytelling or

1. Encouraging Participation: Ask the children for feedback about the story
you are reading. Examples of feedback are “What did the wolf do to the

2. Questions and Answers: An example might be “What did Little Red Riding
Hood see when she came into the house?”

3. Keeping children focused on the story: Let the children ask each other

Some examples might be, “What part of the story did you like best?” “What
part of the story made you afraid?”

Preschoolers: Word Families

Boost phonological awareness by helping children create:

1. Devise games that encourage older children to sort words into word
families, such as cat, hat, bat, or group them by ending sound, such as toy and top.

2. Tell what is left when one of the segments is removed from a word such
as, “say smile without the “sss” sound, or say team without the “mmm” sound.

3. Find all the things in this picture that begin with the letter “t.”

4. Word walls which emphasize common sounds they hear.

“You may have tangible wealth untold: Caskets of jewels and coffers of

Richer than I you can never be – I had a Mother who read to me.”

(Strickland Gillilan)