Encouraging Language Development In The Pre Schools
Language can be defined as the method of human communication, either spoken or written, consisting of the use of words in a structured and conventional way and language development is the process by which children come to understand and communicate language during early childhood.
Early language and communication skills are crucial for a child’s success in school and beyond. Language and communication skills include the ability to understand others (i.e., receptive language) and express oneself (i.e., expressive language) using words, gestures, or facial expressions.
It’s a proud moment for the parents of a pre-schooler when they hear a new word from their kid particularly the ones they are not using at home. It is assumed by the parents that ‘the word’ may have been learned by their child in the school. These young kids in pre-school may have picked up the word from their teacher, peers or for that matter from the people with whom they interact on daily basis.
Now the question arises how you as a parent can gauge whether your child is learning and mastering age-appropriate language skills? This dilemma is because you can measure the physical developments as per age appropriateness but there is no such yardstick to measure the other areas of child’s development.
Early childhood educators get a primary opportunity to provide children with interactions that can support their growth and development, particularly their language and communication skills. Attaining language development in a child is the collaborative effort of parents and teachers at the school.
At school, it is an important ingredient of success both in learning skills and concepts and at home, it is re-iteration of the same. All the parents need to do is talk to the teacher to know the child’s language skills and development, what are the areas of improvement, can your child start the communication with the teacher and his peers, is he a confident speaker or needs motivation to speak, can he participate in small group conversations, is he happy after communicating as everyone can understand him or unhappy as no one understand him.
As pre-schooling is the suitable age for language development and parents are the common link who can really facilitate development in their child. For re-enforcement of language skill development, parents at home need to become a model listener when your child is talking to you, in this way you can stress upon the fact that listening too is equally important as speaking.
You can also encourage the child to express rather gesticulate when conversing, ask them questions so that they answer and in this way, their language expression will be enhanced. You can contribute to enriching the vocabulary of your child by reading stories and discussing those read stories with them.
But there a few cases where despite all diligent efforts, the parent may still not find the desirable change in the child’s age-appropriate language proficiency. A few of the signs that suggest that perhaps help from an expert may be required are- The child exhibits limited vocabulary, struggles with rhymes and re-telling of the familiar stories, has difficulty in understanding, repeating and following instructions.
It is an undeniable fact that the pre-schoolers who develop strong language and communication skills have less difficulty in learning to read and are more likely to have higher levels of achievement in school as it is in the first few years of life, a kid’s brain is developing quickly and laying the foundation for learning.
On the other hand, it should also be remembered that a child’s language skills, develop at varying rates as they depend upon a number of factors such as his personality, age, and home language exposure.