TIPS...Teaching Your Baby Spoken Language...
We all get so excited to hear our babies speak their first words, especially if those words are mama and dada. Dr. Titzer, PhD, infant researcher, has spoken around the world on teaching babies and very young children to speak and read. Below are a few tips.
First, know that the amount of words spoken to your child in the first three years of life is so important. Researchers, Hart and Risley found that the number of words a child hears in the first three years of life was a better predictor for the size of the child’s vocabulary at age 11 than any other factor that was studied including the parents’ IQs, the family’s socioeconomic status, or the school that the child attended. The more words your child hears in the first three years, the more likely your child will have a larger vocabulary later in childhood.
There are many things you can do to help your baby learn language skills. What is so important is the quality of verbal interactions. Parents and others should be talking and interacting with their babies as much as they can.
How do you start? -by talking to your newborn baby in a loving and joyful manner. Also keep in mind, to change the way you talk to your baby as your baby acquires language skills.
- Use Parentese:
Parentese is speaking in a higher-pitched voice, elongating the vowel sounds, and slightly over-enunciating words. Babies prefer higher-pitched voices. By over-enunciating, you make it easier for your baby to differentiate spoken words. Dr. Titzer suggests using mostly parentese until your baby is around 6 months of age, then gradually use less parentese. Once your baby understands at least 100 words, then it may be better to speak in a more normal voice most of the time.
- Frequency Effects:
A study released in 2015 shows that frequency effects are very widespread in language learning. Think of words that you are already saying frequently to your baby based on your interactions with her/him, then repeat some of those words many more times a day. You also want to demonstrate the meanings of the words as many times throughout the day. Continue to use medium-frequency and lower-frequency words as well and, of course, continue to talk to your baby in sentences.
- Describe Your Baby’s Senses:
Talk about all of your child’s senses. Narrate or describe what your child is seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching. Think of movement as a sense and describe how your child is moving. Do this as much as you can throughout the day. Find other people who truly value your baby’s early window for language learning and get as much help as you can. Enjoy the experience and bond with your baby while helping her learn language skills.
These are only a few tips to help your baby learn to speak the spoken language. I'll be adding more tips on this topic, so keep an eye out for more...