April 25th, 2010 | Posted in Uncategorized

As a speech-language pathologist I look at language and language development through a model based on the work by Lois Bloom. Simply put, we can break language down into 3 components: semantics (vocabulary), syntax (grammar) and pragmatics (use of language). As an auditory therapist I look at this model through the lens of developing listening skills.

How do words develop? Through the infant listening to sounds, those sounds being formed into words spoken by the people in the baby’s environment and those particular sounds /m-a-m-a/ becoming attached to that person “mama” through repetition and consistency of the message. Children need lots and lots of words to be able to keep up and communicate with their peers, especially if they have listening challenges. So, mom, dad, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, cousins, friends…“use your words”.

Talk a lot to young children. Talk about things in their environment; their room, the bird outside the window, their food, their blanket. As the child grows, the topics can grow to pictures in books, or sounds they hear or something that happened earlier in the day. And as they grow even older, from toddler to pre-school child, use story telling utilizing your imagination and their imagination. Books, again books…the language of books offers us new words in new ways.

So, talk, talk, talk, but remember to pause frequently and listen to what your child has to say, you will be amazed.

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