Proper Child Sentences- Effective Ways To Teach Kids To Speak In Sentences
After a child learns his words, the next milestone is to speak in complete sentences. A toddler between 18 to 24 months is easily capable of using two-word word sentences. Although many children still resort to crying to portray their message, they are at an age where they can rapidly absorb and naturally learn from everyone in their environment. Unlike babies, language acquisition for toddlers does not only happen by imitation. For this reason, parents should start teaching proper yet simple child sentences at this age. Here are a few ways to help your toddler in speaking:
Encourage them to speak in complete child sentences
Getting your toddler into the habit of talking starts with a conversation. Whether it may be a group conversation or a one-on-one talk, including your toddler in a conversation helps them familiarize the use of sentences. One way to start is by asking them questions which cannot be answered in one or two words. This will help them explore their own vocabulary by expressing their thoughts regularly.
When it comes to learning the language, a child basically learns the words first. Then they form two-word sentences like “Me play” or “No bed,” but these words do not transform into complete sentences overnight. One way to ease their transition into sentences is to let them learn proper phrases like “to break” or “put on.” These phrasal verbs can be associated with actions that can be done while saying the phrase. This will help in giving a lasting impression that a toddler will remember.
Be a model of good speech
A toddler is likely to make a lot of errors in the process of learning sentences. Usually, the sentence comes out broken, and some parents may tend to cut them off and correct them, but this will only confuse the child. Instead, let them finish speaking then reinforce the sentence in the correct way.
For example, a child will say “want juice” phrase a sentence around it then reply in a complete sentence like “do you want juice?”. You can also help her build the correct sentence by repeating the correct sentence like “I want juice too.” This way, the correction comes naturally when they are learning. It is also important to note that baby talk can also hinder their progress. As much as possible, respond to the child in a complete sentence and minimize the use of baby talk.
Most of a toddler’s time is spent playing, but it doesn’t mean that they cannot learn. Playtime is actually a good time for toddlers to learn. Having colorful pictures of objects and animals will catch their attention. Telling them stories or reading children’s books with pictures will help develop their interest in listening to more conversations.
Things to remember when teaching child sentences
Toddlers are in the stage of mimicry. Whatever they see, hear, feel, and experience are all memories that will most probably affect their growth. And speech is one primary example. And children learn to speak mainly by copying what you do.
Don’t baby talk
Baby talk can damage your children’s manner of speaking especially if you do this quite often. Examples of baby talk is:
- Calling a dog ‘woof-woof’ or ‘arf-arf’ instead of ‘dog’
- Speaking in broken sentences like ‘Mommy no like’, ‘Daddy bad-bad’
- Referring to items like a ‘beep-beep’, ‘tootsie-wootsie’, ‘bubbie-wubbie’
Using odd words to refer to things, animals, and people will make it harder for them to converse with other children who don’t know what these words are. It would also be more difficult for them to recognize the real name or word for a certain animal or item because they already have an initial perception of what that word is.
Enunciate child sentences or words properly
Always be clear on how you pronounce words. Kids have very keen hearing and with better hearing they can easily copy the way you speak. Dr. Karen Stollznow says that children imitate the accent or manner of speech of their primary caregiver (i.e. until they enter school). The way you say your words, your accent, your sentences, and overall manner of speech is what and how your child will speak.
Talk in the right tone of voice
Language is quite versatile. Even when you’re saying a simple sentence, you can change its meaning depending on your tone. Some people have stronger voices and often impart the wrong meaning because of the way they talk. This may be natural but when you’re stressed, your tone also changes. Controlling yourself from shouting all the time or using a noticeable annoyed tone of speech will also affect the way your child talks. Remember, the way you often talk is how they will eventually copy. So always be careful around you children.
Teaching a child is no easy feat since every child differs in their learning pace and interests. It is important to remember that teaching a toddler requires a parent’s utmost patience and commitment for it to be effective because learning starts from home.
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