Learn about your child’s speech development milestones: Excerpts from a live chat with Speech therapist, Merzia - Part I
Q. My son is 2.5 years old. Is it a good idea to introduce and speak 2 languages or more at the same time?
A. Yes definitely it is. It is the best age to introduce multiple languages. Research has shown that children who are multi lingual tend to be more flexible in thought.
Q. Even I have heard the same. But I often hear him mix up the two. Is he getting confused?
A. It is normal to mix up the two until the age of 3 and a 1/2. After that, he will be able to consciously switch languages.
Q. My daughter is 2.3 years old and is going to preschool since 4 months now. She is very talkative at home but she does not talk in school with her friends and teachers. And I am tired of telling her to talk but she doesn’t. She grasps everything in school and comes back and tells me what happened.
A. Every child has a different personality and some kids take a while to settle, especially in a group setting. The less emphasis you place on speaking, the more she will speak in school.
Telling her to speak increases the pressure and your child will probably feel that it is a difficult thing for her to do.
Q. (Continued) But it is not only in school, she is quiet in front of all other acquaintances when she goes somewhere and talks to only family members. Could she have any inferiority complex?
A. She is too young to develop a complex. It seems like she is just shy, she will open up and talk in all environments in her own time. Don't worry about it.
Q. Is it better to associate and teach alphabets not only by the name but by the sound they make? In playgroup they teach the alphabet song. Can you recommend the best way to introduce phonetics?
A. The best way to teach alphabets is to read a lot of books and sing nursery rhymes. Teach the name along with the sound it makes, not just the sound.
Q. Can you share speech related milestones? What should we be tracking?
A. By age 4, a child should clearly be understood by everybody outside of their home/family. Also by 4, your child should be able to narrate a simple story or an event that has happened in the recent past.