How to best teach abstract words?
As a new parent trying to figure how to help my baby develop his language abilities, I am wondering how to best teach abstract words?
It is easier to teach concrete nouns and verbs - when we see a dog for example, we sign and make the sound, pat the dog etc.
But how do I teach more abstract things like "please", "help", "scared" etc? This is an equally relevant question for sign and spoken language (I think so).
Any ideas and tips?
That's where the Signing Time series has been the most help for us. They show examples of the ideas (help, please, emotions, etc) in a way that sticks with kids and adults, and people learning another language.
In every day routines, just teach the abstract words/signs during normal conversations. If a child is struggling to do a task (eating, cleaning up, picking up toys), ask, "Do you need my 'help'?" while signing 'help'. When asking them to do something, add 'please'. Kids pick up on these cues.
Kei, mom of 6, including 11 yr old William, who has T21/aka Down syndrome
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