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Friday, January 18, 2008

Teaching speech and language skills to your child

In one of our earlier post, we talked about how to teach initial words to our child. Continuing with where we left, in this post we will share how to teach our child pick up basic words and encourage them to speak. However, this information is more relevant in case of adopted children as they are deprived of "being talked to" during their stay at the orphanage.

The first and foremost thing that we as parents should do is to talk to our children. Irrespective of what age they are, children learn by observing what happens around them. So the best thing to do is talk to your child with actions, gestures etc. You could start with reading her nursery rhymes or stories loudly. Typically children story books are more of pictures and less of words. You should try to speak the words in the story by showing the picture. e.g. If you see a picture of a dog sleeping, then you should tell your child something like "doggy is sleeping" and at the same time showing her the action of sleeping. In this way, the child would be able to relate to the actual meaning of words. You could expand the horizon of the word "sleeping" by suggesting to her that "we all sleep during the night". By doing this, she would slowly understand the meaning of the actual word sleep. And who knows very soon, she might say to you that she wants to sleep by showing the same actions. The overall idea is to associate meaningful verbs with nouns.

Introduce your child to the world of music. You would be amazed how quickly kids get attached to a particular kind of music and even start singing few words from the song. The idea is to provide them ample opportunities for them to hear stories, music, songs etc. The more they hear, the more they would be encouraged to speak.

If you want to teach your child multiple languages, try to repeat the same words in both the languages. In this way, they would be able to relate the words in multiple languages.

Try to find the learning pattern of your child. Is she attentive enough while you are reading her out stories or does she have a less attention span? In the latter case, you should not force her and try to divert her attention with some new words that might interest her. We as parents often try to judge the developmental milestone of our child based on her ability to speak. In my opinion this is not correct and we should give our child ample opportunity and time. Very recently this fact was emphasized in the Aamir Khan film Taare Zameen Par. I would recommend all parents should watch this film to understand how to interact with their child.

Try to get tips from other parents and use them. Go through this article to find more detailed tips on how to teach your child speech and language. I would be interested in tips from other parents such that i can start using them as well.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very informative post. I heard a lot of positive comments about Taare Zameen Par and I can't wait to watch the moive. Hope it gets nominated for Oscars.