20/07/2021

Categories: Early Years and Childhood Studies, Undergradute

How do Children Learn to Speak

It might seem hard to believe, but from the day they are born a newborn baby begins to learn the necessary skills for cognitive development. They can sleep for as much as 16-18 hours a day but when they are awake, they are continually learning from what is going on around them, listening to the sounds that they hear and absorbing the things they can see. But how, precisely, do children learn to speak?

Language development

Language development in children is a truly incredible process. Learning a language comes naturally and everyone is born with an understanding of how to go about it. No matter what language is spoken at home, all children will learn the language in the same way and what affects language development is the same for everyone, no matter their culture or language.

Language development in children progresses via the following three stages.

Learning Sounds

Babies are born being able to distinguish and hear all of the specific sounds that are found across the world. This equates to around 150 sounds from 6500 languages. These are phonemes and even from a very young age, babies can filter out which belong to their natural tongue, and which do not. The best way to help a baby with this is to talk to them; they learn best from hearing a range of voices. Talking to them as though you are having a conversation and waiting for a response can help as well.

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1 year
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