Have you ever come across children who can speak so well and articulately? I’m always amazed by those kids.
Most of these children are not gifted. They are pretty much ordinary but they have one common factor.
They are surrounded by adults who speak to them properly.
It’s a simple equation. You speak to your child well, and they will eventually speak well too. There are however, a few strategies when talking to your kids, to help build on their language skills.
Improving your child’s language skills
These strategies can be applied during your daily interactions with your child.
Being a good example and speaking with proper grammar and full sentences is the best way to build on your child’s language skills. Children listen before they even learn how to speak sentences. So, never undermine speaking with full proper sentences to them. They are great imitators and will eventually speak like you.
2. Be an active listener
Being an active listener means giving them your attention, listening, responding and not interrupting them. This may not come naturally to some parents. It’s easy to get a little impatient when listening to kids talk, especially when they laboriously try to communicate their thoughts to you. However, give them your listening ear and you will see how much they will grow.
3. Extend and expand
Expanding on what they say can help build their vocabulary and is also a great way to respond to them.
Child: I love cats.
Adult: I love cats too, especially kittens!
Recasting is a way to indirectly correct mistakes. Most children will not speak perfectly and sometimes will try to apply grammar rules in ways that they perceived. Therefore, instead of explicitly correcting them, simply reiterate in proper sentences.
Child: Mommy accidentally cutted her finger.
Adult: Oh, mommy accidentally cut her finger.
Be an attentive parent
Your children are natural learners. They learn the most from their daily interactions with the environment and the people around them. Therefore, no matter what skill you are trying to build on with your child, being an attentive adult is the best way to nurture them.
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