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Tips to Improve Your Child’s Language Understanding and Production


When is the critical period of language development?

From birth to the age of five, children develop language at a very rapid pace. The age and the pace at which a child reaches each milestone in language development vary greatly among children of different gender and races.

As a parent/caregiver, you spend the most time daily in interacting with and taking care of your child. Therefore, you play an important role in the development in your child’s language through play and everyday routines.

Language stimulation tactics

Here are some tips to improve your child’s language understanding and production. You can incorporate these in your daily routines.

i) Self talk

(Talk about what you are doing)
– Improves child’s understanding of words relating to common objects, people, actions, buildings etc.
– Example: “Mummy is washing my hands.”

ii) Parallel talk

(Talk about what your child is doing)
– Improves child’s understanding of words relating to common objects, people, actions, buildings etc.
– Example: “Sally is building a tall tower!”

iii) Repetition

(Repeat what the child says with the correct pronunciation)
– Teach the child the correct pronunciation of words without force
– Example: If the child says “ephant”, you should say “Oh, it’s an eLEEEphant!” (emphasize on the syllables or sounds that were missed out)

iv) Extension

(Repeat what you child is saying in a grammatically correct sentence)
– Improve child’s production of sentences/word combination
– Example: If your child says, “Daddy sleep”, you can say “Yes, Daddy is sleeping.”

v) Expansion

(Add words to what your child is saying)
– Improve child’s production of longer sentences and use of new/old words in sentences
– Example: If your child says, “Want biscuit”, you can say “You want to eat biscuit.” or “You want a chocolate biscuit.”

We hope that your child will be talking and conversing very soon with these language stimulation tips.

This article only serves as a general guide. If you suspect that your child has problem in language, communication, articulation, fluency, voice or swallowing, please schedule a thorough evaluation with a speech-language therapist.

(A special thanks to the Speech-Language Therapists of 20dB Hearing, Ms Charissa Kueh and Ms Wong Yee Ling, for contributing to this article.)

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