Speech and language development are often taken as one and the same but in reality, there is a slight difference.
The brain acquires the most intensive periods of development in speech and language skills in the first 3 years of life. As the brain is developing and maturing, the levels of sophistication in language and speech acquisition increases. Consistent exposure to a world rich in print, sights and sounds will definitely work for the child during this stage of development and growth.
What’s The Difference?
Speech development looks at the conventions of making communication of which aspects includes clarity, fluency and articulation. Language development focuses on communication conventions of grammatics and vocabulary.
For example, a child says, ‘Chicken I drink’. The child is not able to ‘string’ up words to make meaning and has trouble having others to understand him, this is language related.
On the other hand, if a child is not producing sounds clearly and in projecting voice, this is speech related.
For Infants and young children, there are critical development periods that the brain form language and speech development best and as young as 6 months old, this critical period ‘opens’. Once this critical period passes, language acquisition becomes more difficult.
Below is a checklist you can refer to for your child’s speech and language development.
By Esther Lim, CEO and Founder of LEAP SchoolHouse.
Born and educated in Singapore, she holds a Master Degree in Education (NTU/NIE), Bachelor Degree in Arts (NTU), Diploma in Marketing – Top student for the year 2000 (Chartered Institute of Marketing). Esther has more than 10 years of teaching experience and has taught widely in both Secondary and Primary schools. She was also involved in curriculum planning and development work for the primary unit at MOE for several years. Esther has also conducted workshops and talks for educators, locally and overseas. Esther is also a mother of three children.
For more info, visit leapschoolhouse.com.sg.
This article was first published in The New Age Parents e-magazine.
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