Whenever we think of young children communicating and interacting with their peers, we often think about the sounds, words and gestures that they use.
However, communication is a far more complex process. It involves skills such as listening, speaking, reading, writing and body language, as well as an understanding of our cultural and social conventions.
Good communication skills can make it easier for children to learn things, take part in peer group activities and to gain acceptance by peers. Here are some strategies for helping your little one learn to read and speak well.
Be a role model
Children learn from their environment and day-to-day experiences with other people. So you need to be aware of the words you use when you’re communicating with your child.
Use correct, simple language when conversing with your child. Short and concise sentences will help kids hear and understand more of what you say. Your child is also more likely to remember new words and sentence structures you have said out loud.
Be as careful about how you converse with other adults in front of your little ones, so that impressionable kids do not pick up bad language!
Do not over-correct mistakes
Making mistakes is an important part of learning. It is important to allow your child to make mistakes, as most children can learn to correct their language mistakes after hearing adults speak the proper version.
If you focus too much on correcting your children, they may become nervous and hesitant to try to speak up.
The best thing to do is to repeat the correct version of what your child has said incorrectly, in the most natural way. For example, if your child says “I hurted myself”, resist the urge to correct them and reply “Oh dear, did you hurt yourself.” That way your child can pick up the correct version without losing confidence.
Teach listening skills
The ability to listen is important for effective communication. By listening attentively to others, your child will collect and understand what has been said and respond accordingly.
Model good listening habits by paying the same amount of attention to your child that you would want when others are listening to you.
Establish eye contact with your child when talking to your little one. Always prompt your child to ask questions and comment on what you say.
Develop a reading habit
By reading across a broad range of topics and genres, your kids will be able to add new words to their daily vocabulary. The general knowledge gained from reading will also enhance your child’s self-confidence.
By reading frequently, your child will better understand and appreciate the grammar rules of the language they’re reading in.