How can I know what basics we have going strong? What do I need to work on? (Part 3 of 3 in a series on Foundations of Language Development by Elaine Thiessen. Ideas in this section by Alyssa Johnson)
We hope by now you’re saying: “Second language learning just won’t happen unless my child has the basics of relationship and communication going strong.”
No matter what you’re hoping to help your child learn, it will always come back to relational connection because you can’t force their learning. A good quote from an internet mom goes: “Learning can only happen if a child is interested. If they’re not interested, it’s like throwing marshmallows at their head and calling it eating.”
How can we foster their interest? By inviting their attention to it.
How do we get and keep their attention? By connecting with them (voice, eyes, touch), helping them see we are on their side, then drawing them warmly, playfully into learning with us.
Yes, you say.
Seems so simple, you say.
But every mom can think of a time they wanted their child to learn or pay attention to something, and just dragged the child away from something else the child WAS interested in, then attempted to tell the child what to learn.
Meanwhile the child is squirming, messing around, or beginning a tantrum in response.
What went wrong? Failure to connect with the child before the learning begins.
Here’s a few tips for building connection you can do today:
If our children have the basics of strong communication skills with us, that is the sign our relationship can withstand a “new language”. What are the foundational basics of relationship/communication? (Part 2 of 3 in a series on Foundations of Language Development by Elaine Thiessen)
For our purposes here, we are talking about how language is learned, but it bears repeating: that is never in isolation from all the other areas that are actively developing in children.
Let’s look at the very ﬁrst things that a child develops and needs for emotional well-being and language learning—since we’ve just established that the two go together.
The communication milestones for babies in their ﬁrst six months of life include the following:
They remain the foundation stones for those relationships throughout the rest of life...
They remain the foundation stones for those relationships throughout the rest of life, and reoccur in most relationships that develop in a healthy way over the course of our lifetime.