Did you know...?It takes longer for children who are just learning to talk to respond to our questions. This happens because four parts of the brain have to work together for your child to form a response to what you say. Adults need to be patient with young children. We should wait anywhere from 5 to 12 seconds for them to respond. That feels like a long time because adults usually respond in about 2 seconds. But the extra time you give children allows them the practice they need to respond more quickly over time.
Next time you're reading aloud a book to your child, stop on one of the pages and ask them a question. This could be a question about what they see on the page. (You could point to an item and ask, "What is this?") Or ask an older child what they think will happen next. Wait for your child to respond! Then talk about it more together.
from The Early Literacy Kit: a handbook and tip cards by Betsy Diamant-Cohen and Saroj Nadkarni Ghoting (ALA Editions, 2010)