Recasting

Recasting is one of the most simple, easy to use strategies that can be used by a communication partner to help support a child’s speech and language development.   

It involves the adult ‘correcting’ mistakes as part of the conversation but places no expectation on the child to copy the correction- even better if they do however! It allows a child to hear more accurate and descriptive language and provides them with plenty of opportunities to listen. It also allows a communication partner to teach language in a positive, low-pressure way whilst keeping the conversation going.  

So how do I do it?  

You recast your child’s language by adding something more to it. To do this, you need to listen to what the child is saying, interpret what they mean, repeat what the child has said using correct structures, model how to say the target correctly and emphasise the target. For example  

  • If the child says, “mummy home”, you could respond with “Yes! Mummy is home” 
  • If the child says “sleep it” you could say “you sleep on it” 
  • If the child says “doddy do” you could say “yes that doggy is going very fast”  

Recasting can help your child’s development in many ways including to develop vocabulary, to expand their utterance length, to improve speech sounds and to teach grammatical structures.  

Studies show that the more frequently you recast language for a child, the better. When communicating with a child, particularly those with a language delay it is recommended that children need exposure to approximately 1-2 recasts per minute. Remember this is a tool that can be used across as many settings as possible and by as many communication partners as possible- including, parents, teachers and the speech pathologist.  

Bridget McDonnell