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Why do it?

  • Hearing a new word together with a word baby already knows strengthens baby’s expressive language.
  • Repeating baby’s word is a good way to show them that they’ve been understood.
  • Whānau can use this technique in the context of other games and activities with baby.

How to do it

  • When baby begins to use words, repeat them back using the correct version (but without correcting baby), and then add another word.
  • When baby begins to use 2 words, give baby back 3, and so on.
  • For example, if baby points to a person in a photo, say the person’s name, and add a word or phrase, like this: ‘Daddy. Daddy’s at rugby’.
  • Use this technique of adding another word to a known word, whatever game or activity you’re enjoying with baby.
  • Try not to ‘correct’ baby by saying things like ‘No, that’s not yours that’s Jacob’s shoe’. Instead encourage their attempts with, ‘Yes that looks like your shoe doesn’t it’.

Using more te reo Māori

He aha tō kōrero? What did you say?
Kēmu Game
Kōrero Talk
Kupu hou New word
Pātai Question
Whakapakari Strengthen
Whakamāramahia To explain, clarify
Anō Do it again
Mōhio To know, understand
Kōrero anō Say it again
Mita Pronunciation and sound of a language
Rerenga kōrero Sentence, phrase
Whakarongo Listen
Oko To hear
Kei te kite ahau he... I see a...
Kei te rongo ahau he... I hear a...
Whakarongo mai, e te tau Listen hear, my darling
Whakahauhau Encouragement, urging
Umeretia Cheer, applaud
Ka pai koe Well done you
Kātahi nā te pēpi mōhio, ko koe What a clever baby you are