“The child begins to perceive the world not only through his eyes but also through his speech” – Lev Vygotsky.
Language and Communication skills play an important role in the child’s development and success in school and the years to follow. Kids have a tendency to talk a lot, but their ability to articulate their thoughts in a decipherable way will help them in the long run. Hence, emphasis on language development should be placed from early childhood.
Here are 5 ways to do that:
1. Create experiences and remember them through stories:
“We are storytelling creatures, and as children, we acquire language to tell those stories that we have inside us” – Jerome Burner.
The stories inside us are nothing but experiences that we remember. Make life an experience for your child, especially all the firsts – the first day school, the first dance, the first road trip, the first bicycle, the first football cleats, the first picnic, and so on. You can also help them document their experiences. Let them recite those experiences to their friends. This will not only help them in knowing how they feel but will also help them in articulating their thoughts better.
2. Make them fall in love with reading:
Stories have a magic of introducing us to possibilities and thoughts, taking us to places that we have never been to before and igniting our imagination. Reading and reciting stories help us with language development and vocabulary strengthening. Encourage your child to practice reading more. You can create a vocabulary wall in your child’s room, where he/she can write down the new words they learned.
3. Let them learn at their own pace:
As parents we want the child to be perfect, for his/her own good. Correcting him/her at every step comes naturally to us. However, it is very important to keep in mind the child’s pace and to not go overboard on him/her. Whenever your child gets a language usage incorrect, instead of directly pointing out the mistake, try a subtle route instead. Try using the same sentence in different contexts multiple times during the day, using the correct language. Your child will pick up the correct usage.
4. Be descriptive in your communication:
Try being creative in your daily communication with your child. Be descriptive while referring the objects and things from every day. This will spark your child’s imagination and also add to his/her vocabulary.
5. Play games that focus on language development:
Games are not only very involving but also add up to the fun component. Resort to games such as Scrabble, Pictionary, Guess who, etc. for your child’s language development.
Language Development is very important for the holistic growth of your child. Remember, language development will not happen overnight, it is an ongoing process. Make sure your kids are having fun all along the way.