Why is language promotion useful
Learning the language is an excellent way to prepare children for life. As soon as a child can speak, he or she is better understood. This results in less frustration, misunderstandings and conflicts. That is why it is important that even young children are encouraged in their language development. This is best done not only at home, but also in the daycare center. Because that’s where many children spend a large part of the day. So people who care for children have an important job. They need to observe the children closely so that they notice delayed language development. But the most important thing is to be a linguistic role model for the children. The age of the children is of secondary importance for the time being. From birth, a baby already benefits from a good language role model and even during pregnancy, mothers can introduce language to the baby through singing and reading aloud.
Language support for the crèche children
Language becomes particularly interesting in the course of the second and third year of life. Children of crib age speak their first word and then learn new words almost daily. For children who grow up multilingual, this process can take a little longer. Nevertheless, a crib child should have reached the magic word limit of 50 words by the age of two. Once the child has reached this milestone, there is usually a big leap in language development afterwards and the new words are hard to count. Both in the phase of learning the first words and in the subsequent phase, a language role model is incredibly important for the child.
What does language support integrated into everyday life mean?
A few years ago, it was assumed that what mattered in language development was good material. On the market, you will find a variety of picture books and picture cards(Kamishibai) to stimulate speech, a wide range of party games to encourage speech, and many suggestions for speech and singing circles.
All of these materials and ideas are excellent tools and can help children with language development delays in particular. However, today we know that it is not necessary to resort to specially made game material. Language promotion always takes place in the day-to-day life of the daycare center. Whether it’s eating breakfast together, changing diapers, or looking at a picture book together. Even when dropping off and picking up or playing in nature, a toddler’s language is encouraged.
The term for this is everyday integrated language support. It includes every activity we do with a child, including nonverbal activities. Because facial expressions and gestures also promote the development of language. Day-to-day integrated language support is best achieved by focusing on the child. What is the child interested in, what does he need? How can I accompany each situation linguistically and thus provide the child with security?
Prerequisites for good language support in the daycare center
In order for the promotion of language in everyday life to be successful, the children’s caregivers must be prepared to reflect on themselves. How do I talk to the child? Am I using appropriate language? Language must be adapted to the child’s age and stage of development. If a child is overwhelmed by our language and doesn’t understand us, he or she shuts down. It no longer listens and thus cannot learn anything. Educators and parents need to empathize with and understand the child in order to be a good language role model.
Using the following list, professionals can reflect on themselves for once:
- How fast do I speak?
- How do I emphasize?
- Am I taking enough pauses when I speak?
- How long are my sentences?
- Is my language appropriate for the child’s age?
- Avoid baby talk
- Use questions
- use corrective feedback
- Challenge but do not overwhelm
The last item in the list clearly shows that you can and should practice promoting young children’s speech. It’s a matter of always reflecting and doing better next time. Children need challenges, they want to learn new things. However, learning is not fun when they are overwhelmed.
Why language support in the nursery is so important
The challenge, especially in the nursery, is that each child is an individual and that children of different ages but also of different developmental stages are cared for together. For this reason, language development in everyday situations is particularly important in daycare centers. Only there is enough time for each child. Especially situations like diapering can be used well as individual time with the child. Conversations, small prompts such as “Can you give me a diaper?” or “Go up the stairs,” and singing games encourage not only language, but overall development.
Through the promotion of language integrated into everyday life, other areas of development are also taken into account and promoted. Language is closely related to emotional and cognitive development. But developmental areas such as motor skills are also closely linked to the speech center. That’s why people like to talk about holistic development.
Ideas for promoting language in the nursery age
- Picture books that encourage talking and participation
- Songs, singing games
- Books in rhyme, poems
- Finger games, knee riders
- Prayers before the meal
- Board games for crèche children
- Make narrative circles
- Puppet theater
Götz, S. (2021). Everyday integrated language support in the crèche area. Everyday language promotion simply on the side. ISSN: 2748-2979. Accessed 01.01.2021. Available at: https://krippenzeit.de/alltagsintegrierte-sprachfoerderung-im-krippenbereich/