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.
What is the foundation of your family's language learning process? (Part 1 of blog series on language development by Elaine Thiessen)
Building on strong foundations is not just a strong beginning—it also provides for a strong ending. To do this with children, most of us need to invest in understanding what that strong foundation looks like.
Since this blog is about language learning (bilingualism), we can narrow our focus to what a strong foundation for language learning looks like, or better yet, sounds like.
Even doing this, however, there is often a common mistake— language is isolated from all the other ways that children are developing, as if it is something that blossoms without inﬂuence or impact from social, emotional and even (or especially?) physical development.
Children’s new words almost always match up with what they have going on in their development, be it social, cognitive, emotional or physical in nature.
Language is an expression of all that is ﬂourishing in a child’s life...
but by far the most important area that impacts language development is the connection they have to safe, loving people.
When relationships are warm and supportive, children want to talk to and begin to sound like their care-givers—they imitate what they hear and then attempt to communicate with people they love.
Not rocket science…but sometimes we forget. You already know that, but take a moment to think about it.
Who are the people you WANT to talk to?