Boy & girl on bike

Promoting Language Development

From the moment your little ones are born, they are constantly learning, growing and developing their language skills.

Let’s face it, one minute you’re cradling them in your arms and they’re relying on you for their every need, and the next minute you are watching them walk, talk and take on the world.

Nursery can play a major role in helping to develop your child’s language skills, especially due to the level of interaction and engagement they will encounter. However, here at Muswell Pre School, parents are constantly asking us what they can do at home to also help promote speech and language development.

So we decided to put together this article about promoting children’s language development, which is based on our combined experience of working with young children over many years and the wide range of literature we have reviewed surrounding the language development of children.

After all, it’s vital that all parents recognise that all children develop at different rates and that every child will reach different milestones at different times, this understanding will allow you to manage your expectations.

Here’s a closer look at the different stages of development – we hope you find it helpful


Early stages of language development

Did you know that from as early as the third trimester of pregnancy, babies start to tune into the sounds of language, and can even begin to engage with melodies and rhythms of language?

And remember, from the moment your little ones are born, they will begin to use sound as a way to express their emotions, crying if they are in pain, and of course, letting you know when they are hungry. The response they receive from their cries, sparks early interactions and the development of language, so it’s vital that babies hear sounds and speech, which is directed to them.

At the same time, you should also make eye contact with your children to ensure that you are close enough to them so they can see your face and watch your mouth moving.

From around three months, babies will enjoy making noises and repeating sounds, which is a core stage of their development.


Development from one to five years

By around one year old, the vast majority of babies are familiar with speech patterns and are able to understand some common words. You might also find that your baby is also able to start producing their own words however, it usually takes up to their second birthday for children’s vocabulary to grow dramatically. To help them along the way, you should start with simple words describing objects that they are familiar with and interested in such as book, cup, bib, names of animals, names of body parts etc! At this stage they will also begin to understand more complex sentences and instructions.

By three years old, your little ones will begin to use pitch and you will find that they can vary the loudness of their voices. By four years old, they will have more of a solid understanding of the past and the future, and you will find that they are able to talk confidently about things that have happened in their day-to-day life.