All Learning Involves Conversation

in Everyday Learning

My daughter and I walked hand-hand into the mall food court for a bite to eat after shopping for a new dress. I noticed a lovely family sitting at a table eating lunch — a mom, a dad, and a little girl who appeared to be about three years old. To my surprise, the child was thoroughly engaged in watching a movie on a portable video player as she ate her lunch. No talking with mom and dad, no interaction with her parents whatsoever.

The child sat quietly watching the movie and chewing on pizza, while the parents enjoyed a quiet lunch. What a golden opportunity to feed their daughter’s intelligence with language, rich and deep vocabulary about the restaurant choices, brightly lit signs, and people standing in lines.

I wonder if they understand how important conversation is even to a three year old. Conversation feeds a child’s intelligence. Little ones play with words, practice with words, think with words and will eventually read and write with words. Children are eager to know and understand all they experience with their senses.

While my daughter and I ate our lunch, we wondered why Chick-fil-A and McDonalds had long lines of people. The lines at the other restaurants were short. We wondered if the food was better at the popular restaurants or was the service faster. We wondered why the healthy food choices were not as popular as the fast food choices.

“All learning involves conversation. Without conversation we are limited to our own insights.” — Regie Routman

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