The type of communication style adults use with children can influence their speech and language development
There is a communication style between adults and children researchers call Phatics
In this style, the adult tries to say nothing with any ‘content’ apart from acknowledging the child’s contribution.
  • Questions are avoided
  • Topics are initiated by the child
An example of a Phatics communication style is the following:
A = Adult C = Child
  • A: That looks good
  • C: It’s going up high
  • A: True
  • C: High up to the sky
  • A: Uh-huh
  • C: Maybe it might fall down. Crash!
  • A: It might! It’s very high!
Researchers have found that a Phatics communication style can:
  • PSPDramatically increase a child’s length of utterance
  • Lead to children may beginning to tell stories
Try using the Phatics communication style with your child whenever you think of it. There will be times for teaching. A mix of communication styles appears to be beneficial for children