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Your role in language learning

The hands-on approach

Parents are children's very first teachers and those who actively engage their babies and children in conversation can have a great impact on their child's ability to communicate verbally. Talking to babies, and having fun with nursery rhymes and songs is a great way to lay the groundwork when it comes to learning speech.

While there is no magic formula to help your child talk, there are things you can do to help with your child’s development. Be natural with your child and always respond when your child tries to communicate with you. The process of talking involves listening, understanding, thinking, wanting and needing to speak, and being able to coordinate all the right muscles.

Talking to babies’ everyday is important, preferably without resorting to "baby talk." Remember that babies learn to talk from listening to others and it is important to talk in a fun and friendly manner. Talking to your child doesn’t need to be a chore and doesn’t need to be time consuming. Talking can easily fit into your daily routine and can be extremely beneficial in your child’s speech and language development.

Tips

Reading to babies and young children is a great way to encourage speech. Choosing a variety of books as well as rhyming can help babies with the rhythm and flow of language. Parents who include children in conversation are more likely to have children who love to talk. It's important to show a genuine interest in babies' attempts at language, from their first coos to the stories that they tell you.

Stop

Be patient - the process of learning to talk is gradual and may seem slow.

Think

Reading to your child, story telling and rhymes are all great forms of communication.

Do

Talk to your child everyday and remember to make the learning interesting and fun. Give them your undivided attention.