Language development in early childhood is a critical part of your child’s growth. Language allows your child to adequately express their emotions, solve problems and maintain relationships with others. Being able to understand and enjoy language also prepares your child for school, as it’s the foundation for reading and writing. When you first begin your search for a child care centre, look for child development programs that teach your son or daughter basic language and literacy skills.
Here is a general timeline for language skills according to age group.
- Your baby will be laughing, making sounds and gestures. This babbling is a crucial step towards speaking, even though these ‘words’ don’t have meaning. You can generally expect first words to occur around 12 months.
- Children start to say words that have meaning, like Mum or Dad, and can understand words and simple instructions like ‘No’ or ‘Don’t touch.’
18 months – 2 years
- Your baby should be able to form short ‘sentences’, and you will probably understand what your child means to say most of the time.
2 – 3 years
- Your child will use extended, complex sentences, and strangers will probably be able to understand what he or she is saying.
3 – 5 years
- Your child will want to talk and ask questions on a variety of topics.
There are certain things that you as a parent can do to further their language development in early childhood. Reading aloud to your child, and pointing at the words as you read them, demonstrates to them that there is a connection between written and spoken words. When your child reaches the age where they begin to tell stories, encourage them to talk about both the past and the future.
At Endeavour Early Education, our language development program for children involves foreign languages. Learning a foreign language assists with your child’s overall development, and research studies suggest that a foreign language can improve your child’s memory, critical thinking and problem-solving abilities. Check out our Whole Child Program to find out more.