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Language Development Of Children

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Language development supports a child’s ability to communicate, and express and understand feeling. Although the first year is really important for language development in children, major learning continues throughout a child’s early years. And learning language is a lifelong process.

I n their first 12 months, babies develop many of the foundations that underpin speech and language development. For the first three years or so, children understand a lot more than they can say. The best way to encourage child’s speech and language development is to talk together frequently and naturally. When you finished, the baby must be given a turn to talk and wait for the baby to respond; the baby will! When the baby starts babbling, babble back with similar sounds. Probably the baby will babble back.

As the baby grows up it is important to respond to the attempts to communicate. For example, if the child shakes her head, treat that behaviour as if saying ‘No’. If she points to a toy, respond as if the child is saying, ‘Can I have that?’ or ‘I like that’. When tuned in and respond to the child, it encourages the child to communicate. Talk about what’s happening even if the baby doesn’t understand – the baby soon will. Just use lots of different words.

A s the baby becomes a toddler, it will be good to tell the things that you’re doing, and talk about the things that the baby is doing. From the time the child starts telling stories, encourage her to talk about things in the past and in the future. At the end of the day, talk about plans for the next day – for example, making the weekly shopping list together or deciding what to take on a visit to grandma.

Introducing new words: It’s important for children to be continually exposed to lots of different words in lots of different contexts. This helps them learn the meaning and function of words in their world. Reading with your baby: Keep using more complex books as he grows. Talk about the pictures. Use a variety of books and link to what’s happening in child’s life. Books with interesting pictures are a great focus for talking. Read aloud with your child and point to words as you say them.

If the child starts a conversation through talking, gesture or behaviour, respond to it, making sure to stick to the topic the child started. It will be better to repeat and build on what the child says. For example, if the child says, ‘Apple,’ repeat is, ‘You want an apple. You want a red apple. I want a red apple too. Let’s have a red apple together’.