What Influences Language Development?
A study was conducted to take into account the factors that influence language development. It was published by Judith Johnson, PhD from the University of British Columbia (Canada) and it was titled: “Factors that affect language development.”
In her study, the doctor confirms that learning to speak is one of the most important achievements in early childhood.
Johnston also pointed out that language development reflects the interaction of at least five factors; social, perceptual, cognitive, conceptual and linguistic processing.
In addition to her contribution, there is a lot of research that confirms that learning and language development is actually influenced by many aspects.
For its part, the Spanish Pediatrics Association states that there are four factors that have a decisive influence over language development.
- Genetic inheritance
- Family and direct environment
- Social environment and external factors
Aspects that influence language development
Children learn to speak progressively. However, there are certain ages where they will be able to achieve certain milestones, such as:
- When the child is a baby, it is normal for them to be startled by noise and to try to find out where they come from. This occurs due to auditory stimulation. Therefore, the ear is a fundamental aspect when it comes to language development. A baby under the age of nine months already babbles and learns how to say pa-pa, ma-ma and to unite other sounds. Their babbling increases between the 12th and 15th month when the baby has acquired the ability to imitate certain sounds and words. At this age, they will be able to understand simple commands.
- From 18 to 24 months the child will have a vocabulary that ranges between 20 and 50 words.
Pediatric experts say that children from the age of 2 to 3 should already be able to produce sentences that are three to five words long. They should also understand what is said to them. After the age of 2 they will start to combine words and they will be able to point out parts of their bodies and household objects. They will also be able to follow two-step instructions such as: “Grab the toy and give it to me.”
At this point, the baby already understands concepts such as what it means to be above or below the table, for example. They also understand some verbs and most of the things their parents say.
When should you worry?
Every child develops at his own pace, however, there are certain parameters to keep in mind.
If your child that is under the age of 1 doesn’t respond to sounds or words, you should take him to a specialist. The same applies if they don’t use gestures, point fingers or say goodbye when they reach the age of 12 months.
Another aspect to keep in mind is if at the age of 18 months they prefer to use gestures instead of talking. It can be worrisome when a child doesn’t produce sounds.
If your child is 2 years old and isn’t able to produce words, phrases or if he doesn’t repeat sounds or use language to communicate, you should consult a specialist.
You should consult a specialist if your 18-month-old child has difficulty understanding simple commands.
The Spanish Pediatrics Association recommends that you take your child to a specialist if he doesn’t understand simple commands, has a strange voice or has a difficult time understanding children their own age.
If the problem is addressed in time, it can prevent possible complications.
How to favor language development?
The environment in which your child develops is crucial to their language development. Therefore, after birth, they should be stimulated in a positive way so that they can learn how to express themselves properly and fluently.
It is essential to dedicate time to communicating with the child. Even when they’re babies, you can read stories, sing songs and make games to help them acquire language tools.
The proper use of language is also important. This implies good articulation and the proper use of vocabulary.
Speaking to your child in a simple, direct and slow way is another way to help his language development. This is helpful because he’ll be able to imitate what he hears.