Conversations between children and their teachers and other adults during pre-school and kindergarten are fundamental to their grasp of language. Vocabulary, grammar, and even subtleties of meaning that are learned during these interactions can be carried through during their entire lives.
At birth, humans have the physical capacity to make 40 different sounds. As the brain of infants develop, they learn to make associations between these sounds to form language. Once infants get through the earliest years of typically feature children mimicking the sounds they hear from their parents and others around them. But as children move into the social setting of pre-school or kindergarten, their language skills really start to ramp up.
Practicing at Home
Parents can help speed this process along and hone their child’s language skills by encouraging their kids to have conversations with them at home. Several times during the day, ask your child about their day or hold a conversation about what they think about a story they heard or a book you just read them.
Another way to help develop your child’s language skills is to introduce words using a thematic device, such as word games. Things like rhyming words, synonyms and vocabulary building can help children develop advanced language skills more quickly.
Listening to other people talk is just as important as using language for young children. Ask your child to repeat back what they heard you say to help develop their listening skills. At first you probably will be surprised by how inaccurate and off-base their responses will be. But eventually, your child can be trained to listen carefully as well as use language effectively.
All of these language skills — both at home and at school — can help children develop advanced, effective language skills they can carry with them throughout the rest of their lives.