Role of Interaction before Language

Before communication with words there is a long list of things a child must learn before communication. And these pre-language skills are best learned in one context with in the fun back and forth interactions the child has with adults in his or her life. When a child has a language delay usually speech therapist access both the child ability to express himself and to interact with others. The therapist will help parents strengthen the child’s interactions skills before learning language skills.

Importance of Interaction

After birth children start communication by using facial expressions, sound, movements and eye expressions. Children do not realize that these sound have some meaning until their important adults constantly respond to them. In this way children slowly learn that the messages they send without words have meaning and effect on other people so they start to send these messages intentionally. Then an adult response to a child’s message either verbally or non-verbally and child response in return, an interaction has started with in these early back- and forth -interactions child’s future conversations is built.

Development in Learning during These Early Interactions:

When children have fun interactions with their adults they learned number of skills that help them to become good conversation partner. They learn the important role of conversation before they say there first word. They learn how to:

  • start interactions with another person
  • answer when another question talk to them
  • take pause at the appropriate time
  • give a turn to another person
  • clearly send messages
  • clear the misunderstandings by communicating in a different way
  • remain stick to topic
  • initiate a new topic when time is appropriate

So children learn language effectively during conversation in everyday situations and activities. It makes sense that it is better for child to participate in interactions with caring adults.

Tips to Enhance Interactions

Here are some ways you can do to increase your child’s interactions skill:

  1. Make sure the interaction is interesting for your child

A sink full of soapy water can make a fun interaction if your child shows interest in it. Watch it attentively. With which thing he is playing? Which activities he like the most? What is the child is trying to tell you. It does not matter what you said about the thing that matters is that your child is interested and engaged.

  1. Respond with interest when your child communicate with you.

Study shows that when an adult responds quickly to the child’s message, by saying something that is related to what child has said, this strengthen the child’s language development For Example 2 year old Jacob has a language delay , tries to open a low cupboard in the kitchen , but he cannot because its handle has come off . He talks with his dad by pointing at the cupboard, saying ‘Duh’! Dad instantly goes toward as the door and says, the door is broken. See?  We cannot open it. In this way dad encourages Jacob’s try to communicate by letting him know that he heard Jacob’s message and he is interested in what his child said.

  1. Keep the conversation continue when your child response again.

The lengthy the interaction the more opportunities a child have to communicate and to learn from what the adult says. For Example, after Dad answers about the broken handle Jacob raises his hand giving his dad a questioning look as he wants to say, what happened? When Dad says it’s gone and he gestures gone, Jacob’s replies by imitating the gone gestures by saying ‘Ga’!

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