Language development: Important factors

There are a a couple of crucial aspects that influence the language development in children from a very young age.

Parents and teachers should pay attention to the fact that language development is not a passive process.
Language is always evolving! However, there are internal as well as external factors that can influence this development.language development

One very important aspect is the child’s motivation. If there is a necessity to speak, then the child feels that it has to learn the language. Yet, also boring lessons that teach children vocabulary and grammar in a dry and inactive way as well as negativity can obstruct the child’s motivation to learn. Learning needs to happen in a positive and nurturing environment.

Another important fact to consider is the difference between the family language and the language that is spoken in school or in the classroom. Children have to know from a very young age that the languages he or she speaks differ and that there are a couple of restriction that language learners have to keep in mind. For example, a child that speaks English and German in Ireland needs to be aware of the fact that he or she can’t speak German to everybody else.

Family and friends:

The language used by parents plays a very important part in the language development of children. The better the spoken language that is used by other people that surround the child, the better the language of the child will develop. Here the motivation and the understanding of parents is key!

New words and phrases:

New vocabulary should be explained on a regular basis (again and again). Only by doing so the correct language development of children can be secured.

Prestige of the language:

Something one rarely considers is the ‘level of prestige’ of the spoken or learned language. Children might have encountered situations, in which their mother tongue or second language was criticized by others. This is unfortunately a common occurrence in schools nowadays. It is the parents and teachers task to explain to the child that there is no such thing as right language or wrong language. Being able to speak two or three languages is a wonderful ability that should be nurtured and praised.

Language disorders:

Another important factor that has to be considered is a language disorder. If the student learns extremely slowly and makes too many mistakes, then he or she might have a hearing or speaking problem. To rule out any disorders, a check up by  a doctor might be a good idea.

However, please bear in mind that some children learn very quickly, others need more time. Some kids are better at learning grammar, others are great at learning vocabulary.