Five ways to help encourage your child’s language development

language_development
Nathaniel stares down, from the second floor of a McDonalds building, at the crowd of people crossing the street. He was two years old when this picture was taken.

Attempting to learn a language can be very difficult and it takes a considerable amount of time for anyone to become fluent on it. But not with babies though, as they come equipped with a phenomenal ability to learn a language with fluency in just about the span of three years. Yes, that’s a fact, and they can do it with even very little practice and almost no conscious thought required.

But how did they do it? Babies learn it directly from their parents whom they looked upon as models. Parents play a very important role in a baby’s development including the area of language development. Here are five ways in which parents can help encourage their children’s language development:

AVOID BABY TALKING TO YOUR BABY

It is not advisable to use baby talk as a way of communicating to your baby. There are times they come naturally and unavoidable, but try cutting such a habit as much as you can and as much as possible. Babies are wonderful decoders so that whatever you say, he understands very well the tone of your voice, the facial expression, and any gestures you might be using.

Aside from being wonderful decoders, children are great imitators as well. When a baby reaches one year old, he or she is capable enough to understand the words and intonations so that he or she can figure out exactly what you are telling him or her. Baby talking to them is to shut the opportunity about giving them a chance to learn the correct sentence structure.

READING BOOKS TO YOUR CHILD

It is one of the best of ways to expose him or her to words and concepts. Your baby’s auditory processing skills play a central role in his or her ability to learn, enjoy, and effectively use language. Reading aloud to your baby is one way of giving him or her some of life’s greatest gifts.

Reading aloud, when done on a daily basis, can enrich your child’s vocabulary that’s responsible for the expansion of the mind. It will also allow him or her to acquire knowledge of everything about books and all that can be learned from them. It becomes a source of motivation and love of reading that will lead to a happy, successful life.

TALK TO HIM OR HER ABOUT JUST EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING

This simple method will give your child a chance to pair words with concepts. Sure, he or she may not be able to understand all the words at first but you’re on your way to giving your child such a great exposure to the world he or she deserves to have. When you’re brushing your teeth, for example, and your pre-toddler is intently watching, explain to him what you are doing and why you are doing it. He or she may not be able to understand everything you said but you are laying a broad foundation for the future.

ELABORATE WHAT YOUR CHILD IS SAYING

By the time your baby starts speaking, try to expand the conversation by elaborating on what he or she is saying. Like, for example, when you’re holding a book in your hands and he says, “Open book.” You should respond by saying, “Yes, I am going to open this book so I can read you a nice story.” You are doing this not only to recognize what your child was saying but to give him the correct form of a full sentence.

BE CONFIDENT AND TAKE TIME TO RELAX

Take time to relax and be confident as your child learns a language in spite of anything you do or think you have done to inhibit it. Do not worry if your child is a month or two late attaining any given level for language development as children mature at different rates. What you need is time, patience, and encouragement to achieve success for that matter.

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