6 Ways to Improve your Child’s Language and Speaking Skills
Communicate with Kids to Develop their Speaking Skills
To help our kids learn how to use language, as parents, most of us start by helping them do more of what they are doing by reinforcing them to make several attempts to communicate. For most children, early language acquisition tends to happen quite naturally. But the way we adults respond to their attempts to communicate can have an impact—accelerating or decelerating their language development. Thus when working with kids on speaking skills, your goal should be to help them reach just the next level of complexity, nothing more than that and nothing less.
One of the most exciting things about speech development in children is that it is closely related to play. The period when kids begin producing their first words, usually around 12 to 13 months, is the same time that symbolic play evolves. If you want to encourage and improve your child’s speaking skills, or if your child is a little late with coming up with their first words, there are lots of activities that you can do to encourage their speech and language development in them!
6 Ways to Improve Speaking Skills in Children
Try for good modelling
The best way to learn is to listen. A child learns new sounds and words by listening to those that go on around him. Due to this it is crucial to talk to them with good speech to which they can listen. All you need to keep in mind is to say words clearly and slowly using plenty of intonation. If your child attempts a word and it is not pronounced correctly, praise them for trying instead of asking him to correct it. Repeat the word back yourself to show you have understood and to give your child a good version of the word.
Try out some motivating sound games
The idea of using games just to improve your child’s speaking skills is truly awesome. It not only motivates children to make sounds but also helps them to speak what they hear. For instance, blow up a balloon, hold it, and then say “ready….steady….GO”, and let the balloon go. Do this for a few times and then pause after you say “ready…steady….” and see if your child steps in and says “GO”.
Try out communication temptations to improve on your child’s speech
For instance, you can hold onto the biscuit tin instead of opening it until they vocalize a request. In early childhood, it doesn’t matter much if children do not use the correct words or sentences, but make sure they vocalize or make an attempt to approximate the word. We always want to make them realize that they are capable enough to learn by using the voice as a tool to initiate and request.
Just listen, pay attention and only observe
Listening and attention skills are the two building blocks and the best activities of speech and language development. The acquisition of these skills is vital in the early years if you want your little one to be successful at school. The development of speaking skills is facilitated by interaction with others and playing in an environment that is free of distractions.
Listening is not the same as hearing. A toddler can have perfect hearing but can be a very poor listener at the same time. Studies show that overexposure to television from a young age can have detrimental long term effects on listening and attention skills.
Watch, wait and listen
You can enhance children’s speaking skills and language development by taking a step back during play and letting them take the lead. This gives them control of their environment and builds their confidence. Although you are still involved in the play, you are not dictating what is happening. However, you can still be feeding language into the play just by commenting on what they are doing. So the takeaway here is you just have to watch, listen and add a source of language.
Role play to improve your child’s speech
Children, by default, love to dress up. For them, it’s fun! Moreover, playing different roles in front of you not only expands their imagination but also helps them to learn new related words or languages. This, in turn, helps them to stretch their creative play skills. For example, if you pretend to be a fireman putting out the fire, think how many related words you can use: fire, fireman, fire engine, ladder, water, etc. Most interaction through play will have a positive effect on speech and language acquisition. Your child’s social skills will also benefit because he will be using eye contact, turn-taking, and listening skills.
Try this role play game!
Bus Driver game: Let your little one be a bus driver, and you can be the passenger. Set up some chairs for a bus and act the roles. As an example, just look at all the verbs you might use in this game: steer the bus, press the horn, ring the bell, sit down, pay the driver, find the change, walk down the aisle, and so on. If, in case, your cutie pie finds this game complicated, be the bus driver first and model it out for your child so that they can take a turn, and you add language to the situation.
And Voila! You are Done!
Children’s brains are like a sponge; they are keen to learn about the world around them and are ready to soak up all the information and experiences they have. The early stages of a kid’s life are key to the development of their language, cognitive and speech skills. Due to this, it is essential to give them all the stimulation, positive role-modeling, and human contact that we can.
Providing positive input to help develop their language and speech skills is not rocket science and can be done quickly through play and simple daily interactions. So, parents, pull up your sleeves and start acting today!