Tips for parents to build better language skills in Kids:
Language skills are very important for kids. It doesn’t matter if the kid is learning English or Mother language or more than one language. Here are four things that parents and caregivers to young children can do to immensely help the language development process.
Creating a Language Rich Environment:
A language rich environment is one where children are listening to a lot of words made by human beings. This means that a language rich environment is one where kids are exposed to talking, reading, singing, two way conversations with adults and peers. A language rich environment is very key in building young kids language learning skills and can have a life long impact on language skills, vocabulary skills, logic skills and even math skills. Ability to express in languages is also very important for social and emotional development of children.
Engage Children in Conversations:
It is not very easy to have conversations with young kids. When building conversations with kids, remember to do the following
- get down to the kids level
- tune into what excites them and talk about it . For example: A kid might be very interested in a new toy, talking about the toy can build the conversation
- Talk about what the child is upto currently and keep probing for more conversations
- Give time for young children to respon You can repeat the questions one or two times and wait for the kid to respond
- Encourage the kid to meet more people and build conversations. Talking to different people can be a very interesting experience for kids.
Facilitate “Thick” Conversations:
What is a thick conversation? Basically these are conversations that give kids a lot of opportunities to talk. The best way to do this is by asking open- ended questions about a particular topic. When the kid responds, use the response to build further conversation.
- Encourage back and forths
- Invite children to talk about what they are doing
- Extend the child’s language. For example if the child says ball, you can say “ yes, lovely, that ball is bouncing:
- You can encourage children to have a larger picture. You can introduce new concepts and ask them to relate to their current life
Use Novel Words:
- Identify some novel words . Key is to find slightly tough words but not very tough
- Find child friendly definitions of the novel words
- Use those words in example sentences
- Use Novel words in spontaneous conversations and sentences
Remember that screens should not replace human interactions in the early childhoods. Even the so called “ learning” apps do more harm than good. Use technology with caution. Simple two way conversations between adults and children is the best way tool for child development
At ekdali, we develop tools for two way conversation - Do check out the Flash Cards for Conversations on Animals here
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