How to Encourage Speech Development in Children

One of the superlative ways to encourage speech development in children is to use simple, clear and vivid speech. A child learns new sounds and words by listening to those around him. This is way it is important to be clear and vivid when your child is listening. This is significant in all the phases of language development in kids.

The first stage of development in the process of children learning to use language is the pre-linguistic stage. This phase is the period before children say their first meaningful words. This phase lasts from 0-13 months (Shaffer, et al, 2002). During this phase infants communicate by weeping, cooing and babbling (Siegler and Alibali, 2005), try to pay close attention to spoken words responding to sound and speech. For the period of the preverbal stage, many infants make vocal sounds which help them earn languages. Parents are encouraged to help their child at this point by singing nursery rhymes with actions like incey-wincey-spider; it will aid the child in earning language.

Another method you can use to encourage language development in your child is using symbolic words. Examples of these words are ‘moo’ for cow, or ‘beep beep’ for a car. These are funny sounds you can integrate when playing games with your child. This is significant as it help develop attention and support language in your child. It also encourages vocalization, imitation, early vocabulary and understanding of routine language.

You can also use toys, objects and books that make a noise to encourage your child’s attention and listening skills.

Use objects and gestures to support your child’s understanding of instructions and questions for example you can point on the toys whilst saying “pick up your toy”

Another excellent way of encouraging language growth in your child is through using books. Glance at picture books together and explain what can see. It’s best to tell a story more than once since repetition will aid your child in understanding the language that he/ she hears. Books are also helpful in encouraging concentration.

Children learn speech sounds slowly therefore saying a complete word back to them rather than correcting them is the greatest way to promote language and speech development. It also helps your kids if they can see you when talking to them. This will enable your infant to copy and imitate the movement of your lips

Don’t worry when your child stammer at times. Probably he is trying to push out many ideas that are in him before his language skills are ready! This is normal, just demonstrate that you are paying attention and give your child plenty of time.