promoting language development


Language development is a process starting early in human life. Infants start without language, yet by 4 months of age, babies can discriminate speech sounds and engage in babbling. Some research has shown that the earliest learning begins in utero when the fetus starts to recognize the sounds and speech patterns of its mother's voice.

Language is an amazing skill for children to master, and it’s a development that many parents really look forward to. The secret to helping your child learn language is very simple: talk together lots and listen lots.

main ways to promote language development;

1.Use meaningful language and activities:follow your child's lead as much as possible and comment about the activities or topic they are focusing on at the time. Language is learned best when it is interesting and relevant.2.Be aware of background noise and distractions:children's ability to ‘tune in' to something is reduced when there are other things (such as television) competing for their attention.3.Allow time to respond:pause for longer than is usual - up to about 4 seconds. Give your child an opportunity to reply to you. Children are slower to process information than adults so need a little extra time.4.Give positive reinforcement:always reward attempts to talk by responding to your child's intended meaning even if the form of communication is not correct.5.Repeat, repeat, repeat:children need to hear the same language many times, in different situations, over many weeks or months, before they will remember it or use it themselves.

activities to promote language development;

1.Read books:Books can be used in many ways to develop language and early literacy skills. Evidence shows that children that have more exposure to books prior to schooling often find it develop early literacy skills earlier.2.Sing songs and nursery rhymes: songs and rhymes contain rhythm and rhyme, skills that help with speech and literacy development.3.Music:Music is also a great way to involve your child and can be used in many ways to enhance speech and language. Music is good for getting your child to listen, and experiencing a shared focus. You can read books and follow music singing the songs as you point to the pictures.4.Play 'pretend':Games involving different characters will allow you to introduce lots of new related language and stretch your child’s creative play skills.

Ways to Encourage Speech

Birth to 2 Years

1.Encourage your baby to make vowel-like and consonant-vowel sounds such as "ma," "da," and "ba." 2.Reinforce attempts by maintaining eye contact, responding with speech, and imitating vocalizations using different patterns and emphasis. For example, raise the pitch of your voice to indicate a question.

2 to 4 Years

1.Use good speech that is clear and simple for your child to model. 2.Repeat what your child says indicating that you understand. Build and expand on what was said. "Want juice? I have juice. I have apple juice. Do you want apple juice?"

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