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The Secrets to Raising a Smarter Child
- By Inderbir Sandhu, Ph.D


The Importance of Learning Language Skills: Part I

By Andrew Loh

Speech, language and communication are the indispensable tools that help your child to communicate, distribute and share thoughts, suggestions, ideas and emotions. Languages and dialects are a set of well-defined rules and clauses shared by people, who like communicate with others. This tool helps us to exchange thoughts, ideas, and emotions with others. On the other hand, speech is all about talking, which is also a way that helps us to use a particular language. Children use languages as effective communication tools by the way of writing, reading or even gestures. Children differ in the way they develop their communication skills through speech and language. However, nature provides a natural timetable to master these skills for a particular language. Language skills are the clearly identifiable signs that can help as a guide to normal or optimal development. However, all children reach a general age and time, when they reach the required ability to use language as an effective communication skill.

With the right type of language skills, your children will develop the required ability to understand, master and use a number of simple and complicated words as well as ideas. Children can use languages in varying degrees. One child can talk more about a particular animal, while the other may talk in detail about birds. One child can talk about feeling extremely angry, while others may talk endlessly about feeling sad, happy or getting frustrated. Another important aspect of acquiring skills is to learn and understand more complex and lengthier words and sentences.

Strong and fundamental language and communication skills will help you children to think and evaluate complex looking ideas and scenarios that are not just the things that they can see in front of their eyes. Getting any ability to create and tell stories, start playing with different words and learning to ask meaningful questions are the best indicators of very strong and robust language skills in your children. Language and communication skills and abilities play an important role in your children's life. Your children hear and listen to a number of words and sentences throughout the day, both in their home and in school. Every activity that they undertake during the course of the day provides them an opportunity to learn more words and phrases. Thus, your children will develop an ability to develop basic language ability. Children who develop better language and communication skills can succeed in any profession and in any part of the world. The language or dialect spoken at your home and custom/traditions followed can significantly affect the way your children communicate.

In the first four or five years of your child's life, she or he will learn and master a number of skills and abilities, out of which language and communication are the most important ones. If you nurture your child's abilities early enough, he or she can develop the skill of learning any language just as easily as mother tongue. You can encourage your child's language learning skills by making them read small portions of text right from his or her early age.

Children can learn the art of communication by interacting and conversing with their parents, friends and teachers. Learning to talk and converse with others always happens naturally for almost all children. In fact, talking or conversing with others is an art learned naturally and not by acquiring. However, your children may learn and master grammar and other social skills, again naturally, but over time. Your children can also learn a series of non-verbal language techniques over time; such techniques may include body gestures, contact, eye movements, facial expressions and other similar language forms.

How would you support your children's learning about languages and communication? It is possible to develop the art of language skills just by talking to your baby. Just go on talking endlessly to your child! Share what you are planning to do in the next ten minutes, what you are seeing out side the window and how you feel about the weather outside. It is very critical for your baby to hear you speak some language! Just pretend as if your child can understand what you speak to your child. Experts believe that talking continuously with your child can open up the possibilities of learning language, its innumerable words and expressions. Language skills are possible only when you provide an opportunity by setting up a series of dialogues with your child; in fact, children are very eager to learn talking and conversing, when they reach their third or fourth year. This is the right time when you can kick-start your child's language learning adventure.


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