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Boosting your child's language development: Is baby talk the right way to go about it?

Team AckoFeb 8, 2024

Language skills form an important part of an individual’s personality. Parents play a critical role in a child's language development. Reading and speaking to your children, from a very young age, will help develop future readers. They are easy, quick, and fun for both parents and the child. 



    Developing good language skills involves fine-tuning listening, speaking, reading and writing abilities. A child picks up all these abilities at different stages of childhood and it is important to facilitate their development through proper guidance. Here are some tips to boost your child’s language development: 

    1. Talk, talk, talk 

    Narrate the day as it evolves. Tell your child, for instance, "Now we're going to take a bath.’’ ‘’Can you feel the warm water on your belly?’’ ‘’When we dry off, we'll get dressed and take a walk.’’ Yes, your child won’t get the meaning of these words in entirety, but the tone and your voice play a key role in the little one’s language development even now.

    2. Read often 

    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 often make the mistake of rushing through the pages of a book because they are tired and trying to get their child to bed. Instead, read to your child throughout the day when you are not rushed. Talk about what you are seeing in the pictures. Before reading, take a few minutes to do a picture walk. These simple activities focus attention, get your kid excited about literature, and promote comprehension – all while promoting language development! Say, "Look at that little boy. Does he look happy or sad?" 

    3. Enjoy music together 

    Young children love music and movement. When they listen to lively songs, like "Rain Rain Go Away," they learn the rhythm of language and about the world around them. 

    4. Use ‘’real’’ words

    Although it is okay if your kiddo calls the word Daddy "da da," you and your partner should use the proper words to make sure that you are not always talking down to your toddler. You both need to stay one step ahead of your child's stage. By using real words instead of baby talk, you are helping her expand her vocabulary. 

    5. Tell stories 

    Make up elaborate stories with characters, conflict, adventure, and a happy ending. Try to tell your child stories that fit her interests related to cartoon characters, animals, and should not be too scary for her liking. 

    Grandma's Tip: Never criticize your child's articulation or speech patterns. Instead, repeat her statements back to her with the correct pronunciation and word usage. Give your child lots of praise for all her efforts. Scolding her may petrify her so much that she eventually develops a nervous speech issue like fumbling or stammering. So, strictly avoid being strict with the little one in this case.

    6. Give the little one feedback

    When your child tries to say something, acknowledge her attempt in a positive way. Don't correct her speech. Correcting her on the spot will demotivate her, which will be a road block in her language development. 

    7. Use television and computers sparingly

    Download famous speeches, interesting and educative talk shows, and documentaries from the Internet and watch or listen to them together. To test your child’s listening skills, organize quiz sessions based on these programmers. 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. There are several websites where you can find exercises related to English grammar designed for your little one. Solving these exercises will help her improve her language.

    8. Change your pitch 

    Toddlers are starting to add inflection to their voice to ask questions. They are also learning that you talk softly when you're indoors and can be louder outside. You can play with funny voices like meow sound of a cat or a squeaky mouse one —so your child can copy you and practice different sounds and pitches.

    9. Treat ear infections thoroughly

    Children, especially those in daycare are more prone to ear infections, which can put them at risk for hearing loss and consequently, language delays. Make sure your child takes the correct dosage/antibiotics each day as prescribed by the paediatrician. Make sure to schedule a follow-up visit with your child care expert once your child finishes the prescription to ensure the infection has cleared. 

    10. Go on field trips

    A trip to the zoo, the aquarium, or a children's museum will open up a whole new world for your child. She will be eager to know the names of all those fascinating creatures and fun activities she experienced. 

    11. Play rhyming games

    Rhyming is one aspect of phonological awareness, and it is so important it gets its own bullet point. You can easily teach rhyming while doing your household chores like cooking, etc. 

    Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only, based on industry experience and secondary sources. It is not a substitute for professional advice. Please consult a qualified expert for health or insurance-related decisions. Content is subject to change, refer to current policy wordings for specific ACKO details.



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