Language intervention strategies refer to the actions an intervention agent, such as a clinician or a parent, takes to bring about change in children’s language abilities. There are many types of intervention strategies, such as arranging the learning environment, following the child’s attention, responding and expanding child utterances, balancing conversational turns, and modifying properties of adult language input.

On this page, you’ll learn about toy talk and other strategies that APL investigators use to modify properties of language input and how changes in parent language input are related to children’s sentence diversity. 

Toy talk strategies: An instructional resource (Pamela Hadley & Matthew Rispoli)

This instructional resource written by APL investigators describes toy talk and explains the potential benefits of using it. The resource includes a copy of the handout given to parents participating in an intervention study with their toddlers.

Toy Talk Promotes Language Development 

This article first appeared in the Alumni Magazine of the College of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Illinois. The article describes responsive labeling, self-talk, and parallel talk, how toy talk is related to and distinct from these language modeling strategies, and the reasons why APL investigators developed toy talk.

For more information on the benefits of toy talk, see 

Hadley, P., Rispoli, M., Holt, J., Papastratakos, T., Hsu, N., Kubalanza, M., & McKenna, M. (2017). Input subject diversity enhances early grammatical growth: Evidence from a parent-implemented intervention. Language Learning and Development, 13, 54-79.

Hadley, P., Rispoli, M., & Holt, J. (2017). Input subject diversity accelerates the growth of tense and agreement: Indirect benefits of a parent-implemented intervention. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 60, 2619-2635.