To speak is to convey information or express a feeling in speech.
It is usually done through the mouth by creating sounds using many parts of the body, including the lungs, vocal tract, vocal chords, tongue, teeth and lips.
As a parent, you play a critical role in your child’s language development.
Research has shown that kids who are read to and spoken with a great deal during early childhood will have larger vocabularies and better grammar than those who aren’t.
The following are ways you can teach a child to speak:
1. Talk to your baby while you are pregnant
Children can recognize the voices of parents and other family members that it has heard while in the womb. By talking to your baby or reading them books, you will help them begin learning about sound while still in the womb.
2. Read, read, read.
It’s never too early to read to your baby. One good predictor of future reading success is the amount of time parents spend reading with their child. Parents can start with simple board books and graduate to picture books and longer stories as their child gets older. Story times at the local library or bookstore can also help a preschooler develop a love of books.
3. Enjoy music together
Young children love music and movement. When they listen to lively songs, like “Old McDonald Had a Farm,” they learn about the world around them and the rhythm of language.
4. Tell stories
Make up elaborate stories with characters, conflict, adventure, and a happy ending. Be sure that the stories fit your child’s interests and aren’t too scary for her liking.
5. Follow your child’s lead
If your little one seems interested in a particular picture in a book, keep talking about it. If she seems intrigued by a boat, show her more boats and talk about them, too. Repeat her babbles back to her, ask questions, and interact with her. You can even try recording your child on a tape recorder and playing it back.
6. Don’t criticize your child
Instead, repeat his statements back to him with the correct pronunciation or word usage. Give your child lots of praise for his efforts.
7. Use TV and technology wisely
Expert recommends that children younger than 2 must not watch television at all, and that children 2 and older view no more than two hours of quality programming a day. While some educational programs can be beneficial to kids, TV shows don’t interact with or respond to children, which are the two catalysts kids need to learn language. Computer games are interactive, but they aren’t responsive to a child’s ideas.
8. Take cues from your child
This is especially important while they are learning to coordinate their speaking with new vocabulary. They might make a certain noise or cry when they are hungry or needs to be changed.
Respond to this as you normally would with spoken language, saying things like:
“Little Emma feels like she needs her diaper changed! Do you need your diaper changed? Let’s get you a fresh diaper!”
“Is baby Bert hungry? It’s almost lunch time. Let’s go get your bottle ready.”
“Do you need more? More milk? Here you go.”
9. Have patience
You only want what’s best for your child, and when you think they should be at a certain level and they aren’t, it can be frustrating for a parent.
However, your child will learn language at their own speed, and it’s important to be patient and encouraging with them while they make sense of vocabulary and grammar.
10. Visit the Doctor and Treat ear infections thoroughly
Children in group child-care situations are more prone to ear infections, which can put them at risk for hearing loss and, consequently, language delays. If your pediatrician prescribes an antibiotic to treat an infection, make sure your child takes the correct dosage each day and uses it for the full prescribed time. When your child finishes the prescription, schedule a follow-up visit with your pediatrician to make sure the infection has cleared.
Though it may be surprising, kids begin learning language while still in the womb.
When coming into the world, infants enter it with a knowledge of the rhythm of speech, music, and maybe even a few words of vocabulary, even if these can’t yet be expressed.
Use these techniques and help your child to speak.