Why do you need to boost baby’s language acquisition? Because there can a 32 million word gap when children reach 4 years old. Why does that matter? The effects of this word gap are still seen when they are in high school and beyond. You need to know how to make sure your child is exposed to as many words as possible before age 4 to give them the best head start.
Step 1: Learn the best ways to interact with your baby to increase their language skills (below).
Step 2: Read everyday out loud to your baby, toddler and child. Read why this alone make a difference.
Step 3: Encourage, encourage and encourage them. Answer their every babble and coo and attempt to say words or communicate. Bonus: great communication between parent and child results in easier parenting. It also means better relationships not only between you and your child but also in all future relationships your child has.
Everyday speech is lazy and abstract. To better understand this point, take a look at the 50 most common words in conversation:
The, of, and, a to, in, is, you, that, it, he, was, for, on, are, as, with, his, they, I, at, be, this, have, from, or, one, had, by, word, but, not, what, all, were, we, when, your, can, said, there, use, an, each, which, she, do, how, their, if.
To increase the number of words baby hears and give them meaning, start by narrating everything you do. Start to talk to baby even though baby can’t yet really respond. Baby is definitely listening and absorbing everything. Researcher William Fowler has studied how to do just this and goes through simple ideas to add into your everyday routine in the videos below.
In the early 1990s, a psychologist in education by the name of William Fowler published research showing that increasing your interactions with your child in a particular fashion would boost their language acquisition. These children specifically learned to talk at an earlier age and mastered language skills, including grammar, faster. He followed these children throughout school and they excelled even in math and science statistically over the control group. To learn about this method and find some great examples of ways to enrich your conversation with your little one, watch his instructional videos below.
Don’t forget to also read why reading out loud is very important to baby and the benefits of teaching your little one sign language to boost their language development.
Also to get your child interested in reading from an early age, make some DIY toddler friendly bookshelves and fill them with board books inexpensively.
What have you incorporated into your routine to boost baby’s language? Please share in comments.
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Fowler, W. Accelerating Language Acquisition. Ciba Found Symp 178 (1993): 207-17.
Fowler, W. Talking from Infancy: How to Nurture and Cultivate Early Language Development. Cambridge, MA: Brookline Books, 1990.
Medina, J. Brain Rules for Baby. Pear Press 2004 (Available on amazon)
Siegel, D. The Whole-Brain Child. Bantam Books 2011 (Available on amazon)
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