The role Star Wars is playing in my daughter’s language development

I spake

Hard to believe it’s been a whole six months since the last time I posted an update about how fares our baby raising. Initially, the ‘Daddy diaries’ were marking major development milestones but, at this age, they come so thick and fast that we may as well have become a full-blown baby blog. Lately, I’ve tried to keep the emphasis on how Star Wars and sci-fi are playing into our family life and in our little girl’s ongoing development.

One of the ways that we enjoy our general geekery as a family is by listening to podcasts. I grew up in a house where there was almost always music playing, so sitting at the dining table in silence is just weird to me. Though some nights there’ll be music, more often than not I’ll put podcasts on with dinner. Lorelei loves dancing and singing along to the jingles and opening themes (especially Blast Points and Skytalkers) but, lately, she’s taken to responding to podcasts by repeating words she recognises. It’s only occurred to me lately that having podcasts on the background is a great language development tool, as well as helping to infuse our little one with a healthy diet of Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings and, lately, His Dark Materials.

One of my favourite games to play with her is repeating words, where I’ll say “Lorelei, say [insert word]”. The results are often hilarious, but it’s remarkable how much this has assisted in her language development, and seeing her vocabulary grow week to week is so exciting. Of course, I have had her say all manner of Star Wars-y words, from character names to whole quotes. “Jar Jar” and “Rey” have become part of her everyday verbiage and hearing Palpatine pronounced as “Tinetine” is never not funny.

With all of the above, it’s no exaggeration to say that Star Wars has been an invaluable tool in my kid’s language development and will continue to be so in the future. That delights me, both as a fan of the franchise, as a writer and just as a father. May the Force be with us.

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