Speech and language are the means with which we communicate with others. A normal human being develops and learns these skills in the early years of their life i.e. by age 6 most children acquire the basic understanding of language their parents speak.
After a few years of learning and picking the words, a four-year-old generally loves to talk and communicate to people around. They love to ask questions and like to go in the details of the scientific and other interesting topics. Children at this age want to know about everything in the world and love to listen and talk about stories of the real life heroes.
How can educators help children achieve language developmental goals?
Children that are surrounded by people who are conversational and give time children tend to learn speech and language skills faster. By age of 4 & 5, a child would usually speak very clearly, barring a few phonetics such as ‘th’ for ‘s’ or ‘w’ for ‘r’.
- Encourage children to learn words through activities and visual cues
- Ask children about topics that interest them
- Get them to share their opinion on different subjects
- Narrate different stories to children and ask them to paraphrase their understanding
- Sing rhymes and songs with them in the car or at home and make it dramatic with hand gestures and actions
How can parents encourage the speech and language development in the child?
Enrolling your child in a preschool would definitely help them learn languages quicker. Give your child the opportunity to talk about his or her day at preschool. Reading with your child will encourage him or her to ask questions to clarify their understanding. Give them a chance to explain their understanding of images in storybooks.
Don’t panic if your child is taking the time to learn the stuff.
Each child learns at his or her own pace. Spend time with children to engage in activities that will fuel their curiosity – children are naturally inquisitive. This curiosity will lead them to seek answers to questions they might have and in turn lead to different ways of communicating with you in order to get answers to their questions.
Every child is different and it’s important to understand that there is no set age at which children start speaking fluently. However, some child may have language delay due to hearing problems or autism. Therefore, it is essential to observe and track your child’s speech and language development to uncover any developmental vulnerabilities early on.