One way in which many parents gauge their children’s development is by how advanced their language skills are. While in some cases, language is an excellent indicator of development, if your child’s language isn’t advanced that doesn’t mean they lack intelligence. Children develop uniquely in many different facets of learning and behavior. If you are worried your child’s language skills are not expanding quickly enough, consider the following behaviors you can practice to help stimulate their language development.
Developing your child’s language skills is an ongoing process where you build upon their current communication, encourage and reinforce their success, and respond to their attempts in a way that encourages further development.
Speak to your child in clear, correct, and simple words and phrases. Avoid baby talk because it can teach children incorrect pronunciation during the most critical times of language growth. Develop the idea of conversation as a two-way method of communication. When they speak to you, make eye contact and listen to their words. Encourage them to use language to express their wants and needs, and reward them when they do. Ask your child questions to enable them to express choice and preference through their language.
Give them opportunities to notice things and communicate with you. For example, “forget” to put their shirt on before you put their jacket on. If they are used to a normal dress routine, they will notice you have “forgotten” a step and can communicate to you the step you missed.
Try to give positive reinforcement instead of negative feedback. For instance, if they are coloring in a coloring book and they color the sky red, don’t tell them that they are wrong. The act of expression is positive regardless of accuracy and should be reinforced.
Make sure you respond whenever your child attempts to communicate with you, both with words and gestures. It is important in your child’s development for them to realize that communication is important and back and forth exchanges lead to more sophisticated language skills.
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Enrolling your child in a Pre-K3 program opens up many more opportunities for your child to practice their communication skills with children their own age. Pre-K classes at St. Cecelia Catholic School includes an integrated curriculum, the Diocesan Standards, and benchmarks of Common Core to ensure our students experience a rich learning environment. Reach out to St. Cecelia today at 727-461-1200 to learn more.
St. Cecelia Interparochial Catholic School (SCS) offers an academically challenging and globally minded interdisciplinary education to children in PreK-3 through 8th grade.
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