Language acquisition is such a miraculous process. An infant enters the world using his/her cries to garner understanding from parents. And in a few short years, I hear my preschoolers use complex, multi-syllabic words to artfully craft sentences. There are developmental differences readily apparent within my classroom. But it is quite easy to tell the children that come from verbally rich environments vs. not.
What should a parent be doing? Here are some simple suggestions to help your child develop an early and diverse vocabulary.
- Slow Down: Speak to your child with a calm, slow and clear voice while performing normal, everyday tasks.
- Talk About Everything: Help your child make the connections to new words that are involved in cooking, grocery shopping, following directions while traveling, or noticing the natural world around us.
- Draw Pictures Together: By using art to express your ideas, you will help your child learn to express his/her ideas that are represented through drawing and art work.
- Turn Off The TV: Research has shown that exposure to television does not increase a young child's vocabulary. (See Link below)
- Inform Caretakers: If your child has a nanny or is in daycare, make sure that your child's nanny or daycare professionals are providing a language filled day and stimulating environment.
Research has shown that the number of words a child has heard spoken directly to him by another person* by the 4th birthday has a lasting impact on his or her intelligence level and ability to learn academics. If your child is younger than 4 years, this is the time to act and not to wait any longer to provide positive assistance by learning to increase the quantity and quality of your language input. If your child has already blown out those 4 candles, every gain you help him or her make as soon as possible is of great importance.
(*Hearing people on TV, radio, or talking to others has been proven not to benefit the child; it is essential to have social engagement with speech and language input.)facebook.com/SplashParentingPrinciples?ref=hl