Developing Language in Infants

Developing spoken communication skills is very important for the overall growth of every child. There are plenty of methods through which parents can encourage their child to learn language early on in infancy. This is done mainly by rearing the child in an environment where language is used for communication. The child will not only develop speech but also learn a language that he will use throughout his life for interaction.

Children learn a lot through imitation and the same goes for speech and language. Before the child can start forming words it is important to teach him communication via gestures. Simple hand motions like waving a bye, singing nursery rhymes with hand movements, will help the child associate motion with words. A child who is able to learn how to gesticulate early on will not have problems communicating later on in life.

It is important that the parent does not prolong the gesticulating method of communication otherwise the child sticks with it like glue and does not progress on to the stage of speaking. The only way you can make your child to talk is by talking to him. When spending time with your child keep talking to him about the things you are doing and seeing or talk about the things that are happening. As you keep him up-to-date with the everyday happenings, your child is bound to pick up words.

After a certain stage the child will start using the words stored in the memory bank from hearsay. At this point the parents can support the child in learning to speak by repeating words the child uses. Repetition is also a good way of correcting your child’s pronunciation and intonation. Always respond to your child whenever he or she is speaking. The child’s speech need not be directed at you. But by responding you are showing the child the importance of communication through language.

After the child completes 18 months make it a habit to read as story out aloud from the colourful story books for children. Make reading a daily ritual before going to bed at night. Since your child is likely to miss out on understanding certain words, you can use gestures for explanation. But don’t make this a habit. By reading stories you will help develop speech patterns and comprehensive skills in your child.

Anubha Pandey