Learning to speak is a skill that focuses on pronouncing words correctly as well as to associate meaning with these words and like all skills, it needs to be mastered through training. Though there are some common methods that help children learn speaking like: trial-and-error and imitating people around them but the results may not be always error-free.
Let’s see the chances of making mistakes when a kid uses trial-and error method to learn speaking. For instance, the family dog’s name is “Pickle” then the child may associate the word “Pickle” with dogs and may say “I love all Pickles”. When using imitation, it may happen that the kid listens to his mommy saying “Here are some plates and cups”. Without designating the correct label, the child may call the cups “plates” and vice versa. This shows that kids are natural learners but they do make mistakes while learning on their own.
With guidance and supervision, the chances of making mistakes is greatly reduced. Here are some of the ways that can help your little one associate a particular word with the correct object:
• Fill the child’s surroundings with stimulation. Your child’s room should be bright and bursting with opportunities for learning new things. Consider mosaics containing storybook characters, alphabet or word wallpapers and toys that spell and talk as the child plays with them. It is your responsibility to provide your kids with a well-rounded environment. Kids growing up in a proper and sound environment learn to speak at least 2,000 basic words by the time they turn four.
• Read to your child as often as possible. It’s the best thing you can do to help your child learn to speak. Pick a story that best suits your child’s level and read to him with lots of excitement while pointing to the pictures and naming objects. Vary the length of reading time depending on your child’s age and interests. Young children have short attention span. So for them, several short reading sessions (of 10 minutes each) may be better than one long session (of 30 minutes).
• In addition to reading storybooks, you can read recipes, schedules, food labels, maps, manuals, brochures, traffic signs and menu in restaurants to your child. Look up information in phone books, atlases, and dictionaries together. Also, reading greeting cards from relatives and friends help them to learn new words.
• You must talk a lot with your kids. Talk about your day when you snack or have lunch with your kid. Through these conversations, your child can build important language skills. Also you can talk about the books you read with the kids. Talking is as important as reading. Talking about a story or a book with your kid helps him understand it more clearly and also he can identify with the characters in the book more easily. When you are discussing about the story, your child may be able to connect it with certain events that are special to him. Always encourage your kid to share his feelings while discussing the story. It also teaches your child some new words and phrases.
• Learning should be fun. The more fun you incorporate into the learning activities, chances are more that your kid will be eager to learn speaking and, the best part is, the learning will stay with him. Your child will not forget it. Learning while playing is the best option because it creates emotional attachments and emotion is the door to effective early childhood learning.
As a parent, it is important to note that preschool years are crucial years. And early childhood education can affect a child’s life forever. During the preschool period, the basis for language, cognitive skills, sight, attitudes, and other characteristics are founded. Experts say that 90 % of a child’s brain development happens when he turns three and his basic personality is set by age five. Consequently, you must use your child’s natural abilities to learn and provide him with meaningful language and literacy experiences during his preschool years.
You can enrol your child into a preschool so that he can take advantage of the specially structured preschool activities that encourage children to describe things accurately, develop strong reporting skills and explore different ideas.