Developing Language Skills in children 0- 3 years

Most of the mother starts to think about developing language skills in their baby only after the baby turns one year. However, between the ages of three months and one year, a lot of things are happening regarding the language development of babies that we are not much aware of. The development of language skills in children is a procedure that begins at birth and keep on going for several years. However,  most of it happens during the first five years of a child’s life. The child starts to laugh, play with sounds, babble, trying to communicate with gestures, all are part of developing language skills.

They even store some words they frequently heard in his memory, all of which will come to his tongue once they start to talk. Therefore, how good a baby’s language and vocabulary  develops is mostly depend on the people with whom the baby is constantly interacting. That’s why some baby’s talking sounds similar to their caretakers

Talking and language development is one of the biggest milestones and a critical part of the child’s overall development. However, babies hit language milestones at an extensive range of ages. A child who starts at a slow pace than his or her peers is found to take a sudden long jump verbally. Similarly, a child who starts handling language earlier is sometimes found to stick in those initial words for a longer period as well. When it comes to baby’s developing language skills, there is no need to be over anxious. It will happen as the child is ready.

During the initial years of life, children’s brains are developing quickly, thereby,laying the foundation for learning. Anything you put in that foundation tends to absorb and develop by the baby. Therefore, it is a quite suitable time to develop the language skill of the child. And, there’s a lot you can contribute to making your child become a master in handling language as well.

Engage in conversations with the child:

Talk to your baby and most importantly, treat the baby as a talker as well. Even if the baby is using meaningless sounds, be seriously attentive to him. Wait for the baby to respond to your talk. You should also respond to the baby, whenever they try to convey some messages through gestures and sounds. As a mother, you might have understood what the baby is trying to convey. However, wait until the baby stops conveying this thoughts or needs. Then respond. When the baby comes to know that he is able to convey his thought and needs successfully, it will give him more confidence to use the new words and sounds. Associate the words with objects while talking to the child. this will help the baby to grasp things faster. Here you have to remember an important thing. Use correct names and expressions. For example, if the baby calls Apple, “apule“, you don’t have to call it apule. Use the correct name and phrases. Remember, you are not trying to develop talking, but the language of the baby.

Be a commentator:

This is equally important as starting conversations. When taking the child out for a walk, a circus, a zoo, or a museum, explain to him continuously (with a mind of a commentator) what he sees in simple languages. Never expect him to understand every word of your comments. You can continue the commenting even after when you are back home by recollecting it.

Interactive reading:

Interactive reading is an important factor in developing language skills in the baby. Choose books scientifically designed to build language skill in this particular age group. There will be more rhyming and repetitive words in such book. Always stick on to the same book until the baby is familiar with the words. Whenever possible use those words that your baby is familiar with, in your conversations. Voice modulations, books with color and picture, etc. can be used to cultivate an interest in reading in babies. Also, choose books that your baby shows more interest or choose a book which has a particular thing (It can be animals, vehicles, airplanes etc.) that excites him in the previous book. You will get more information on how to read story for your child, here 

Tell stories:

Tell the baby made up stories that go according to the baby’s interest. Little by little make the baby also to contribute to that story. Example, first ask him if he want “the cat to catch the mouse“. And lead the story accordingly. Eventually, you can stop the story at some point and ask your child to lead it. Take over the story and continue before the baby run out of idea (which may affect his confidence). Like this, you are actually enhancing the story building skill of the child as well.

Interactive music:

The interactive music and songs are an important means to develop vocabulary in toddlers. Children love music. When they learn “Raw the boat”, “Old Macdonald’s farm”, etc..do you know how many new words and meanings and concepts they are exposed to? Music and songs composed for the children are not just fun, it comes with a cause.

Never criticize the child’s accuracy of speech:

This is the most important part of the developing language skills. Never ever criticize his weakness in the usage of language. This can kill his confidence and eagerness to experiment with the limited words and meanings he knew.  Therefore, respond to the matter of his message, rather than to how perfectly he says it. We are not asking to never correct him. Instead of criticizing, repeat his statements back to him with the correct pronunciations or words or phrases in a more natural way. Hug him and congratulate him for his efforts. After all, a token of recognition means a lot for a child.

According to study.com,“It isn’t until about 12 months that the child begins to utter actual words, such as ‘mama’ or ‘dada’. By 18 months, a child typically can say more than 10 words, and by two years of age, his verbal vocabulary has increased to over 50 words. By their third birthdays, most children have the ability to speak in short sentences and have vocabularies of about 450 words”.

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