3 ways to develop speech: parents, television, kindergarten. Which is better?
Did you bring your baby to kindergarten or a short-term group and see that he is lagging behind his peers in the development of speech? There are many ways to improve the speech of the child - some we cite in this article. But above all, get rid of the desire to compare: all children begin to speak at different times.
Not all children are the same.
The norms of speech development are calculated for the average child, but none of us have such an “average” child. We have concrete Joe and Samantha, Martha and Peter. Despite the wide differences in the development of speech, they are all completely normal.
Joe began to speak only at 17 months, because in infancy he often suffered ear infections. In addition, he had two elder brothers, and they literally did not allow him to insert a word. The idea that children born later also begin to talk a little later is somewhat true, although not quite. They do not receive as much of our attention and, probably, as much data for processing as the firstborn. However, you can find some consolation in the fact that by the age of 3-4 years you would never distinguish in the group the children of those who spoke their first word earlier from those who did it later.
And then there is Samantha. In her 16 months, she speaks pretty decently, but does not show any inclination to name all the subjects in a row, as her older brother Matt does. He drives the whole family crazy, memorizing the names of each item that catches his eye - at home, in a museum, on the road. And Samantha likes to meet people and say hello. She says “hello” and “bye” to every person met, and although she has a small vocabulary, she also knows some etiquette formulas, such as “please” and “thank you”.
Martha is something out of the ordinary. In her two years she is a born orator and speaks in whole paragraphs. And then there is Peter, whose speech develops very slowly. As Jessica, 18-month-old Peter's mother, admits: “I feel uncomfortable whenever we go to play with other children. 16-month-old Alison and 17-month-old Jake both blurted out word by word. And Peter says only two! ”
Phyllis, the experienced mother of another child from the same group, notes the striking differences between her two older children. “I keep a diary for each of my daughters. At 18 months, Suzy knew 61 words, and Arlene knew only 5. ” The slow progress of the third offspring does not bother Phyllis as much as she knows that Arlen subsequently mastered the language as well as Suzy.
If the development of speech in children moves at such a different pace, how do we know when to start worrying? The key indicator is a few pronounced features. If the child does not utter a single word by 24 months and does not add 2 words to a sentence by 2.5 years, it is worth checking whether he has any hidden problem. And also, if the child does not look into your eyes when you are talking, and it seems somewhat detached - perhaps there is cause for concern. If the problem does exist, then the sooner the intervention occurs, the better. The first step is to check the child’s hearing and talk to your pediatrician.
How to develop the child's speech: 6 tips for parents
Parents are not required to be language teachers for their children, but should be their partners. We give children the opportunity to listen to the speech and become small statisticians, counting “how often” and “under what circumstances” various aspects of the language appear. This gives them the opportunity to discover the rules for themselves. We also invite them to participate in the conversation, although sometimes their contribution will be only rumbling or baby talk. Sometimes the whole story. We must free space for them and slow down the pace of our lives enough to hear what they want to say.
Talk about what your child is watching and doing. When we manage to capture the attention of our audience, it absorbs our every word. But sometimes we do not use these learning moments. Here is an observation that one of us happened to make in the famous “Please Touch!” Museum in Philadelphia, where you can touch all the exhibits with your hands.
The child is completely absorbed in looking at a large elephant, made of electronic devices and standing in front of the entrance to the museum.
Mother: Well, come on, let's go ... oh, look! Look only, there is an exhibition "Alice in Wonderland"!
The child is still looking at the elephant.
Mother: (begins to get annoyed; grabs the child by the hand). Let's go see what wonderful exhibits are there ...
The child continues to look at the elephant, while being dragged to the next exposure.
Many of us recognize ourselves in this sketch. As so, we have just laid out a lot of money for visiting the museum, and our child does not want to know anything, except for this elephant alone ?! But after all, we could start a conversation about an elephant, talk to the child on an equal footing, and then move on. For whom this campaign in the museum is started? Is it really necessary for a child not to miss a single exhibit?
We must remember that the rhythm of the life of our children is slower than our own. They need more time to absorb the information that we process very quickly. For them, everything in this world is new. Whenever our children are completely absorbed by something, we should consider these moments as opportunities for learning and focus on their focus.
Rely on what your child says. Scientists call this distribution of sentences, and it seems that this technique is of great importance for our children. This is probably due to the fact that we are gradually showing them that there are other, more complex ways to present what they have just said. This method also adds informativeness to the dialogue, and the information obtained in its course can be used by children the next time. Here is an example of how one dad (even without knowing it) spread a sentence uttered by Joel (2.5 years) to keep the conversation going.
Joel: Look, big cow!
Dad: Yes, I see an animal, but it is not a cow. This is a horse. She says this: "and-and-and-th." (Demonstrates how the horse "says".) And so can you?
Joel is trying to imitate a horse neighing.
Dad: Great! Horses live in a stable or in a stable, and a cow may well be a horse girlfriend. Would you like to ride a horse?
Joel: No! Too big. I'll fall!
Dad: Oh, you think she's too big? Think you will fall? No, I will keep you! I will not let you fall!
Keep the conversation going, don't break it. Find ways to engage the child in a conversation so that he does not interrupt. Ask specific questions, not general questions. When you ask: “What was in the garden today?”, You can get in response: “Nothing!”. But when you ask, “What did you do today, when you were sitting in a circle on the carpet?” Or “Did Jenny today at school?”, You open up opportunities for conversation.
Do not be afraid to use a childish manner of speech. It often seems to parents that they should conduct “smart” conversations with children. They fear that if they start babbling like a child when their child is about a year old, then the child will talk in the same way. But research shows that there is nothing bad in baby talk. Exaggerated melodious intonation and the high tone of children's speech, accompanied by exaggerated facial expressions, is just what is needed to support the interest of the child. And do not be afraid that your son will go to college, and all of you will continue to babble! Parents unconsciously move from childish to normal language by the time a child turns about 3 years old and he begins to speak independently.
Studies show that children's conversation can even have a beneficial effect on children. The high tonality of speech seems to act as a signal that this speech is addressed specifically to the child. Moreover, this manner transmits emotions to the child, so that it is highly communicative. And since baby talk actively emphasizes the properties of the language, it helps the child to figure out how the language works.
Limit TV viewing. When it comes to toys and TV, we also need to trust their instincts. Science tells us that children need an active, adaptive partner in conversation, and not passive or even interactive toys. TV and computer games are not the best devices for learning speech. Television programs do not disseminate what was said by a small viewer and do not ask questions.
The study of the connection between television viewing and speech development is still in its initial stages. However, recent studies show that educational television really expands children's vocabulary. Programs such as Sesame Street, Barney and Teletubbies will not harm a child. The best course of conduct (although not always feasible) is to watch TV with the child so that you can later discuss what he saw. And, of course, time views should be limited.
Evaluate the speech situation in the children's institution, which your child attends. Silence is not gold at all when it comes to child care. Children should be involved in the conversation. Spend a bit of your time to observe the environment in which your son or daughter is brought up, paying particular attention to the following five indicators of a healthy speech environment:
- Responsiveness: Does the caregiver respond to the child when he asks questions?
- Positive emotions: Does the caregiver respond with a smile and a positive attitude?
- Is the teacher able to keep the attention of the children? Does he talk about what interests the child?
- Expansion of the topic: does the caregiver ask questions, does the child's speech spread?
- Reading: Does the institution have materials for writing and books? Does the teacher read to children?