Developing A Love for Language
Children are inquisitive by nature. Their curiosity plays a big role in their exploration of their surroundings. They are always eager to know the world around them, wanting to learn the way it works and how to be a part of it. This curiosity and eagerness to learn can be seen in the way they pick up languages. Linguistic development in young children progresses faster than people of any other age.
The process of familiarising children with a language through practical application helps develop a love for the language in them and eases its usage.
Here are some ways in which love for language can be instilled in children.
Read out books/stories to your child often: Allot some time every day to read to your child, be it a storybook, a magazine or newspaper. Reading need not always be through a structured book. It can even involve reading off wrappers of snacks, pictures and words they see on electronic devices such as television, mobile phones, tablets, or even signboards and hoardings they see outside. Encourage them to read labels, boards, colours, etc. This will help them apply their theoretical knowledge of the alphabet and words in a practical setting, and improve their fluency in reading.
For better results, ensure all of this happens on a daily basis.
Encourage picture reading: Provide colourful books and ask children to go through them. Encourage them to look at the pictures in the books and talk about what they see and understand.
This helps children reinforce their vocabulary and understand through pictures what various things are called. It also helps them get used to speaking aloud in the language, which further helps them understand how sentences are to be framed.
Converse with children: Children have a tendency to mix verbal and non-verbal communication. Encourage verbal conversation. Move from words to sentences gradually and help them speak complete sentences. Encouraging them to rely on verbal communication increases their confidence and fluency in the language. For instance, if they nod in approval to a question, ask them to give approval verbally. Conversing with children in a language on a daily basis teaches them how to use it in day-to-day scenarios. It also serves as a practice and increases the usage of the language.
Correct broken sentences: When you correct an error as soon as the child makes it, they understand it from the beginning, and gradually start using the language correctly. This reduces their chances of repeating mistakes and ensures that they learn to speak in complete sentences
Encourage them to ask questions: Tap their natural curiosity and encourage them to ask questions they might have. This serves the dual purpose of clarifying their doubts and giving them more opportunities to use the language.
Appreciate them: Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It can make a day – even change a life. Appreciation always serves as an incentive to perform better. This is especially true for small children. Every time they are appreciated, they use the language correctly. Thus, they make progress in their learning and make conscious efforts to sustain the good work and earn more approval.
In this manner, children begin to develop a high degree of fluency in the language, and get comfortable with it gradually. Developing a love for language in children at an early stage also encourages them to read and write more, and explore the language more deeply as they grow up.