Recasting to help speech and language development

If you’d like to help your child learn language and develop their speech, try ‘recasting.’ It’s a form of modelling that’s considered one of the easiest and most effective strategies for parents to apply. In recasting, when your child says an incorrect sentence, you recast or repeat what your child has said, but with more detailed and correct language.

Benefits of recasting

Recasting enables a parent to teach language in a positive, low-pressure way. Done correctly, it keeps the conversation going without interruptions and criticism. Because you’re repeating what your child has said, it shows them that you are listening to them. 

And because you’re modelling, it gives them the opportunity to listen to a more accurate and descriptive language. Recasting also spares your child from the negative pressure of making mistakes or being corrected.  It can also be done to improve articulation, which is the ability to form clear and distinct sounds.

How to recast

To recast, what you need to do is use your child’s language and add something more to it, to make it longer and more accurate. Here are a few examples:

Tip:

  • Recast immediately after your child has said something and maintain the meaning of the original sentence.
  • Don’t force your child to repeat after you, or tell them that their first try was wrong. Make it a positive and natural conversational exchange.

When to recast

When you’re communicating with your child, especially one that has a speech and language delay, recasting should be done as frequently as possible. It should also be done, not just at home, but across various settings. Therefore, do ask teachers and other family members to recast when talking to your child. 

This article was reviewed by The Energy Source’s Principal Speech and Language Therapist, Stacey Shah.

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