The developmental domains: language development
Welcome to June! Throughout this year, we have been on an early childhood development learning journey together and so far have explored these concepts:
· February – play, the work of children
· March – science in early childhood
This month we are moving onto another critical developmental domain*, language development. Follow us on Facebook and/or Instagram for more information and parenting tips throughout the month.
*The developmental domains: social development, physical development, language development, intellectual development, creative development, and emotional development.
Isn’t it a wonder how children are born without the ability to speak a single word and yet from their earliest days they start working to communicating with us?
Children progress through different stages in language development – from recognizing and differentiating sounds, cooing and babbling, making one-word utterances, to joining words, to making phrases, and finally, to speaking in full sentences.
As caregivers respond to young children’s early sounds, facial expressions, and gestures, children begin associating doing these things with social interaction. Eventually, they start to understand that they should use language too.
What is the number one way you can help your child develop language skills? It’s easy – expose them to a language rich environment! Talk, sing, and read out loud. Describe what you are doing to your child while you do household chores, tell them what you are buying while you shop, sing a song, read them a bedtime story, read them the news! It doesn’t matter if they understand all you are saying, they are hearing words over and over and will start to learn them.
Some parents worry their children will be disadvantaged if they speak a language at home that’s different than what they will speak at school. Learning a second language does not mean your child will fall behind, they may just need more time to learn both at the same time! Multilingual children learn at a young age that they can express their ideas in more than one way and this actually makes them more flexible learners.
There are many ways you can help with your child’s language development! Throughout the rest of this month, we will be sharing tips, examples and activities via Facebook and/or Instagram in these areas:
Stages of Language Development:
All children develop at different rates and ages, but there is a continuum along which language typically develops. If you are curious if your child is meeting these milestones, reach out to one of Norwood’s Intake Facilitators today and ask about an Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ).
How does language development help a child create and sustain relationships? Learning to communicate goes hand in hand with building attachment with your child, and with your child building relationships with friends.
Receptive Language: Receptive language is the way that children listen to and process the words that you are saying to them. How can you help them develop these skills? Stay tuned and find out.
Expressive Language: Expressive language is just what it sounds like: expressing oneself. Together we will find out what you can do to help your child develop the ability to communicate their wants and needs.
Literacy and Storytelling: How does reading books with your child help them develop and strengthen their vocabulary? Let’s find out.
Building Vocabulary: As your child’s first and most important teacher, YOU have the greatest influence on your child’s vocabulary and how it develops. Check on Facebook and Instagram this month for some “tools for your toolbox” that you can use to support this development.
The Power of Open-Ended Questions: An open-ended question is a question that cannot be answered with a yes or no. When you ask your child an open-ended question, you are providing them with an opportunity to build their vocabulary as well as their expressive and receptive language skills.
Dual/ Multiple Language Learners: Children’s brains develop and make connections at an astounding rate during their first five years. Because of this, early childhood is the prime opportunity for children to learn more than one language.