It's important for parents to understand the critical role they
play in their child's language development. A child develops much
of his capacity for learning during his earliest years since this
is the time when the brain undergoes its most dramatic growth.
When parents read, sing, or talk to their child, the child's
brain is filled with words, sounds, and emotions that help make the
brain cells grow stronger. This will have a lifelong effect on his
ability to learn language and communicate with others. In fact,
kids who don't develop basic literacy skills before kindergarten
are three times more likely to drop out of school later in
Ways You Can Encourage
Strong Language Skills:
- Talk to your child. Research shows the more parents talk with
their children, the larger vocabularies those children develop. So,
use everyday moments - in the car, at the grocery store, during
bath time - to talk to your child and teach him about the world
- Be a good listener. As your child begins to babble and say his
first words, be sure to listen, make eye contact, and respond. This
will help encourage him to continue!
- Read together every day. Ask questions as you read and talk
about the pictures. Help your child make connections, such as how
the picture of a cat in a story looks like the neighbor's pet.
- Use repetition as a learning technique. Read the same stories
over and over again to create familiarity with the words and
- Play with your child. Acting out storybooks, drawing pictures,
listening to music, and singing songs are all great ways to
stimulate language and literacy development.
- Stay positive. If your child says a word incorrectly, simply
repeat the word with the correct pronunciation. Offer encouragement
and respond positively to your child's efforts, rather than
focusing on mistakes.