Speech patterns develop vary between child to child. There’s nothing set in stone as to how they develop. They are some children who can already speak clearly even at a young age and then there are also other that may still have lisps or difficulty in articulating certain words. Because these children are still young and learning, these can also be remedied and can be improved through time. However, it can also help if the parent steps in and help the child develop and improve their articulation skills before or once they enter primary school.
Aside from the child being able to speak clearly, an articulate child will also have many other future prospects for them. In academics, using big words and knowing how to use them can be an advantage for students, whether they are pursuing research or wanting to be the next big novelist. By understanding how words can be used to convey meaning and having a large vocabulary bank, they won’t be restrained to only using menial words. In the professional world, articulation, or using big words, can be an advantage. Not only will it be impressive and can open multiple doors to your child, they will also more likely learn jargons in their line of work and will understand complicated words used in documents or studies.
As parents, you can also consider enrolling your child to a phonics class. However, there are also ways that a parent can help their child improve their articulation at home and assist in the phonics class when needed.
The first tip for parents to help their child’s articulation is to set a proper example as to how to speak properly. While a child’s mishaps in pronunciations can be cute, it’s not proper to let them speak without correcting them, especially if they are entering primary school. As such, parents should also refrain from using the improper pronunciation the child is using when conversing with the child, thus repeating it over and over and making it seem that’s how you speak the word.
For example, if the child says “chocolates” as “chocowates”, it’s best to correct them. However, remember to not interrupt them or do it immediately. This may cause shame for the child. Instead, let the child finish and let them copy the correct pronunciation from you after.
When also speaking with the child, speak slowly. If you speak quickly, it will hinder them from keeping up with you can learn the right way to say a word. Speak carefully but with a natural tone and the child will also be inspired to use the correct articulation of the word.
As the child’s first teacher, parents can step up to be the child’s speech partner. The child has to have someone they can practice with to improve their articulation skills. You can help them practice through speech aids like flash cards or even objects found inside the house. Not only will you be helping your child improve, you can also use this opportunity for them to gain confidence in their skills and speak up more.
Parents can use a variety of methods that can be both fun and interesting to the child while still teaching them. You can use games for them to learn new words and phrases. However, since they are still children, they will tend to have shorter attention spans. Making the lessons shorter and more interesting will be a good idea. However, even though it’s only for shorter periods of time, make them as frequent as possible so it becomes a routine for the child to keep on learning.
If you are unsure of which materials to use or don’t have enough time to spend teaching your child, why not hire a tutor for them? FamilyTutor houses many qualified home tuitions for students from pre-school to even beyond the university level. With a tutor’s help, parents can make sure that their child is learning and improving their articulation skills.
Checking their progress after a while can be a good way for the child to improve his/her articulation skills. This allows the parent to test the child’s understanding and improvement of their articulation.
Sometimes the child can revert back to how they say the word before. By checking and rechecking what they’ve learned a while after they learned it, you’ll be able to know if they retained what was taught to them. You can use the correct pronunciation of the words they had trouble correctly pronouncing before and ask them to repeat it, or using a word and asking the child what is the meaning of that certain word. By doing this regularly, the child will finally understand the importance of proper articulation.
There should be ample opportunities for the child to speak up in order for them to learn and improve their articulation skills outside of school. In instances like this, the child can also be included in discussions inside the house such as during dinner or just hanging out in the living room. The topics can be about trivial every day matters such as the family’s daily activities, their stories from friends, or if the children did anything with their day.
Aside from counting them in the conversation, make sure they can actually be included in the conversation. That means everyone involved should be able to finish talking and have the people around them listen, including the child. Let the family members understand to not jump in the conversation when the child is talking and let them finish. Each child differs in how fast or slowly they talk or answer, or in formulating their thoughts and response.
Once they’ve finished talking, if there are any mistakes they’ve made, only then should you repeat the sentences they’ve stumbled in and correct them to the right way of saying it. Make it a point to help them widen their vocabulary by helping them learn and understand new words. As such, you can also teach them how they can use these new words in sentences.
Reading can have so many benefits, especially for young minds. The more a child reads, the more they will be aware of different words and as such, would widen their vocabulary. Each book uses different words and different ways to convey their meaning that wouldn’t be used in normal context.
Additionally, parents shouldn’t just expect their children to start reading by themselves. Encourage them to start taking an interest in reading by reading to them. While parents read to their children, they may make different expressions and change voices to fit the dialogues, if there are any.
However, while doing this can be fun for the child, make sure to also still keep in mind to put the proper speech lines and use the correct pronunciation of the words. If the story or book has a new complex word, you can say the word slowly to the child and give an example as to how to use it. If possible, you can also simplify the meaning of the word or associate the word with something they will easily remember.
When doing speech lines, you can let the child repeat after you so they will also understand and learn how to add emotions when saying sentences in different situations. If it’s a question, help them understand the tone of it and its difference from a statement sentence.
Finally, there is another way for children to practice and improve their articulation skills. You can do this by asking thought-provoking questions or open-ended ones that will most likely emit a thought-out response from the child, and will be the start of a discussion.
There are many questions you can ask the child such as, “How did your day in school went?” or “What were the tasks expected of you when you get home from school?”.
When starting these discourses, give the child time to think about their response. Don’t rush them and be patient. Give them the time to think and deliver their response. Only after they’re finish should you correct them with their pronunciation and then ask them to repeat the correct ones after you. For it to be an exchange, don’t just stop at correcting them. Also add in the conversation and respond to them. Not only will it help the child with their pronunciation but it will also encourage the child to continue speaking up.
There are still many ways for parents to help their child improve their articulation skills aside from the ones stated above. However, we hope the six mentioned can be a starting point for parents who want to help their child develop and improve further.
Remember also that patience and guidance go with the tips stated above. With them, the child can start to slowly be able to tell their parents and the people around them without having to second-guess if they’re saying or using the word correctly.
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