Understanding Children & Babies Language Development

by Khadija MAWHOUB

Our brains are set up in such a way that they can learn to speak between birth and the age of 4 – after that, their abilities in this regard decrease considerably to develop their language, children need different prerequisites,
speaking tools as a basic requirement for speaking.
First of all, organic conditions must be created for language development. Because to speak, people have to perform certain mouth and tongue movements and they have to master the other organs involved, such as the diaphragm muscles and the muscles of the vocal cords. For this part of language development too, training begins as early as infancy. Even if it initially only seems important for food intake: by sucking, swallowing, chewing or licking, the babies are also getting fit to learn to speak. This is how they train movement and muscles.

Hearing Is Important For Language Development

Without hearing there is no speaking, or it is much more difficult for a child to develop their speech without hearing. Your children will always be tested for their hearing during the U exams. 

Should you still feel that your child hears poorly because he speaks very loudly for no reason, speak to your pediatrician again and, if necessary, have them checked separately to ensure that everything is okay with your child’s hearing.

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The Importance of Dialogue

The second requirement, dialogue, is equally important. The baby wants to be with his loved ones, observe facial expressions and gestures while speaking and alternately make sounds. It quickly learns the emotional meaning of language. Even during the first year of life, the little ones understand how practical speaking is – that they can use speaking to get other people to give them what they need and later do what they would like to do.

Language Development Begins Immediately After Birth

An infant can recognize his mother’s voice as early as the fourth day of life. Over the next few weeks, our babies will learn to look in the direction from which noise comes. Soon you can distinguish them and even concentrate on certain sounds. Other noises that reach your ear are simply and unimportant filtered out. 

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This is a crucial step on the path of language development because this is the only way to hear individual words later from a multitude of sounds.

Language Development Of Babies In The First Year Of Life

What the baby has to say begins with a coo. With a few weeks, he starts to make purring-whispering tones. This first training session of his vocal apparatus prepares him for speaking himself: “The children experiment with their voice and the speaking muscles,” explains Dr. Monika Rausch, President of the German Association for Speech Therapy “They do that for a while, then they stop, and after a pause, they start to make sounds again. But then in a different way: Because now they listen to themselves and try to control their speech. “

First Coo, Then Dada, Then Mom (or Dad)

Up to the age of about six months, a person’s language is international. The first sound always sounds the same, regardless of whether a child grows up in Japan, Greenland, Russia or Germany. Only then do babies begin to imitate the sounds of their mother tongue – the first step in learning to speak.

The famous “Dadada” with frequent syllable repetitions is very typical for the period around the 8th month. Parents say that speaking develops normally. Because the so-called “canonical roar” is only missing in children who cannot hear themselves. Then the hearing should be examined again very carefully.

While the baby is diligently doing “gagaga” and “bababa” for a few weeks, the first words are maturing – in the mental lexicon, our inner vocabulary store, their meaning has long been stored. To get them out, you still have to practice every day.

In the 10th or 11th month, babies can understand little instructions from the parents – because they have learned to assign certain terms to certain terms that they hear. You know the right word for ball and, for example, search for this object with your question “Where is the ball?”.

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Language Development: The First Word

What a success, your baby said his first word! For most babies, this moment is around the first birthday. The little ones have been preparing for this for the past few months. Because before they can make their first sounds and words, language development is in full swing. The five senses of the baby work right from the start – it hears, sees, smells, feels and tastes. These skills all form the basis that the child needs for language development.
In the first few years of life, babies acquire the essential foundations for their language development and their later reading and writing skills.

Language Development In The 2nd & 3rd Year Of Life

In the second and third years of life, language development knows only one law: ever and faster. The vocabulary grows at tremendous speed, whereby understanding precedes speaking. At the age of two, your child is equal to you with the speed and accuracy with which it fishes new words from the stream of language.

after the first two and three word sentences that your child has spoken, their language development often seems to become less precise again. What’s going on there? “At this age, you are primarily interested in what your child has to say and less in how it says something,” advises speech therapist Monika Rausch.

The apparent relapse results from the immense speed with which learning and “wiring” in the brain. later, the words are automatically specified.

Language development of children in the 3rd and 4th year of life

Up to this point, your child’s language and vocabulary have developed rapidly: on the second birthday, a child speaks an average of 100 words. Two years later, there are already 2,000. In addition, three years-old already understand the meaning of many words that they cannot yet pronounce.

The sentence structure is almost as nimble as a prefabricated house: Individual terms in the second year of life become two- and multi-word sentences in the third and fourth year. 

By the fourth birthday, some children are already building multi-chain main and secondary sentences. No need to worry if your child isn’t ready yet. Language development is a very individual development and most children can speak correctly until early school age, provided there are no developmental disorders or disabilities.

Language Development In The Fifth Year Of Life

In the course of the fifth year of life, the child refines the last subtleties of its language development. It continues to learn new words – which we hope will never stop, after all, we parents are still learning new words – builds increasingly complex sentences and, depending on language skills, can lead to real debates (especially if something is wanted).
At around five years old, your child’s language development is roughly complete. Your child knows generic and subordinate terms, different names for an object, past, present, future. Now it’s time to build on it – with lots of dialogues, games, books, radio plays and daily communication. Speak by example!

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