Stages of development

How children learn to speak. Language development

How children learn to speak. Language development

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The more stimuli a child receives in his first year of birth, the easier he will have to express himself and speak. Stimulation is one of the secrets to getting the child to learn to speak properly. Talk to him frequently, listen to him carefully and pronounce the words well, are some of the advice that the psychopedagogue offers us Ana Carballal, an expert in Early Care, in this exclusive interview with

1. What can parents do to help their child learn to speak?
Parents are essential in stimulating the language of children. There are three main things they can do: talk to them a lot, listen to them and interact with them.

2. How can we talk to babies?
We must speak to them a lot and often, using first, a clear and simple language, pronouncing the words well. Parents can interact with their children, from birth through stories and songs, affectionate phrases, and enriching the activities of daily life with words.

3. How can we listen to babies?
We also learn to speak when we are speaking, so what they tell us has to be important. Besides being important, if communication does not have a function and meaning for children, they will lose interest in speaking, that is, if we anticipate what they need before they can communicate it, communication will lose meaning to them and they will lose curiosity and interest.

4. How do you interact with babies?
The third stimulation consists of interacting with the child, that is, speaking and listening at the same time, and the best way to interact is through play. To play with words, we can use story books, those that contain flaps that hide an animal or object, as well as songs that invite us to make gestures and movements.

5. How should 3- to 6-year-olds express themselves?
Children from 2 to 3 years old communicate with simple sentences, they already use many adjectives, for example we also see that they begin to use adverbs and it is a significant stage because that is when the period of questions that we know so much begins. From 3 to 4 years we already see a little more complexity and we see it, for example, in that they understand much better and that makes them respond much better to our orders and our questions, and for example the subordinate clause appears and therefore they can express several ideas at the same time.

In the last period of the linguistic stage, which would be from 5 to 6 years old, they acquire much more complexity in their language, the sentences are much more complex, we see that they use grammatical compositions that allow them to make longer sentences and also acquire the repertoire phonetic. At this time, between the ages of 5 and 6, is when they acquire the 'r' which is the most difficult phoneme of all.

6. What should be the attitude of parents in the development and maturation of children's language?
The attitude and influence of parents in the development of children is essential. The attitude of the parents should be above all a positive attitude. Do not force the language but be something natural. And how do we do it, by enriching daily life with a lot of language because we are a model.

Give her corrective feedback, when they say a word wrong we will return it to them correctly but without correcting them, for example if the child says ‘opa’ instead of soup, she must say you want soup. Also avoid that when a child speaks badly, this is a grace and repeat it. Parents should help the child to pronounce the words well. Repeat them as many times as necessary and seeking not to humiliate or make fun of the child's mistakes. Parents are the role model for their children.

7. Why do girls tend to speak before boys?
Some statistics say that girls learn to speak earlier than boys and indicate that a woman's brain is more developed in her left hemisphere, right where speech develops. However, this is only a biological predisposition but the environment is very important, so we can favor the development of the language of our children, whether they are girls or boys.

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