The ability to communicate is important for child development. Verbal communication is important because
it enables children to articulate their needs and wants to caregivers and those around them
it allows children to accurately comprehension information received during knowledge acquisition
it allows children to confidently ask questions when in doubt through their learning process
What are the stages of language acquisition?
Stage 1 (Indicative age range: 0-6 months)
Babies will then to make coo-ing sounds that are commonly vowel sounds especially [o] and [u]
Stage 2 (Indicative age range: 6-9 months)
Babies will begin to make 2-letter consonant-vowel sounds that accompany the 'ah' sound with common sounds like 'pa-pa', 'ma-ma', 'na-na', 'da-da' and 'ba-ba'
Stage 3 (Indicative age range: 10-18 months)
At this stage, children start to pronounce their first words. They tend to speak in single words to communicate across thoughts and feelings that may commonly be communicated across in a sentence by an adult. During this stage, exposure to action and feelings-relevant vocabulary is key. Children at this stage are known to acquire words and double up their vocabulary every couple of weeks. They should be able to sound certain letters of the alphabet such as [j], [p], [b], [d], [t], [m], and [n].
Stage 4 (Indicative age range: 18-24 months)
Children will develop the ability to communicate in phrases commonly starting with 2-word phrases. They should also be able to sound letters of the English alphabet clearly at this stage.
Stage 5 (Indicative age range: 24-36 months)
Children begin to develop the ability to speak in longer phrases or in some cases, complete sentences (although ungrammatical at times) by 30 months.
What can parents do to empower children during language acquisition phase?
#1: provide accurate and clear articulation of letter and word sounds for the child to establish his/her role as a teacher
#2: avoid imitating or repeating the child's inaccurate pronunciation with the intention of helping the child 'reflect'. The child needs actual and accurate representation at this stage to model after
#3: avoid responding to the inaccurate pronunciation or ungrammatical sentence with "huh?" or "what?" but in turn, respond with the correction for the child to model after.