Early childhood development is a vital stage of cognitive progress in children that should be used to enforce the active acquisition of learning skills. By exposing young learners to the factors that will launch the process of active development of cognitive skills, one will create premises for successful early development. Involving parents and analyzing environmental factors affecting early childhood development will help boost the process to a significant extent.
The stages of oral language development are quite few, yet each represents a vital leap toward obtaining crucial skills. Typical language development includes preproduction, early production, speech emergence, intermediate fluency, and advanced fluency (Boynton, 2021). As a rule, learners cannot yet speak the language during preproduction, yet they can mimic certain words and phrases. During early production (6 months – 1 year), the vocabulary expands, and a learner begins to speak in short sentences. Afterward, the speech emergence stage (1-3 years) comes, signifying the student’s ability to understand key language patterns and vocabulary (Boynton, 2021). The intermediate fluency stage (3-5 years) features a more advanced use of vocabulary and grammar. Finally, in the advanced fluency phase (5-7 years), a learner demonstrates the ability to communicate in an academic language, with language use becoming automatic (Boynton, 2021). Thus, passing the specified stages is essential for mastering the language.
However, in atypical language development, learners are likely to undergo a particular developmental phase, especially slowly or fail it completely (Boynton, 2021). For instance, phonological issues may prevent young learners from passing the speech emergence process. In contrast, others may experience a setback in building working memory, which will lead to a failure to build language fluency (Boynton, 2021). Therefore, atypical language development may feature a range of inconsistencies with the existing language development paradigm.
The process of oral language development is affected by a range of external factors, most of which are controllable. For instance, the child’s immediate environment, particularly the quality and frequency of communication between family members, informs a child’s early development and the resulting language acquisition. Though the described factors are not the only ones affecting the acquisition of language skills, specifically oral ones, they still contribute vastly to the child’s ability to gain the required vocabulary and the needed intrinsic understanding of how language works.
Similarly, motivation represents a critical environmental factor causing children to acquire language skills at the required rate and pace. Namely, the support of parents and educators serves as an excellent, motivating factor for young learners to obtain the relevant language skills (Boynton, 2021). Studies show that parents’ encouragement fosters confidence and motivation in young learners, exposing them to the concept of early language development (Boynton, 2021). Therefore, parental support must be regarded as a crucial factor in building oral language proficiency.
Finally, mental and physical health serves as an essential factor in language acquisition and use in young children (Boynton, 2021). Once the specified factors are controlled and reinforced to create a favorable setting for language development, a child is likely to stay on the path of early childhood learning. Therefore, ensuring that a child remains healthy is also vital in boosting the development of language-speaking skills.
The effects of early oral language development also extend into the further development of the learner. Namely, early acquisition of oral language skills has been proven to cause strongly positive effects on reading comprehension occurring much later in the child’s development (Boynton, 2021). Moreover, the focus on early oral language skills training is believed to cause the development of preliteracy skills (Boynton, 2021). Thus, a child is prepared for the further stage of cognitive development. Finally, the emphasis on early oral language development and training in children is considered to foster word-decoding ability in young children, thus, providing them with insights regarding the functioning of the language (Boynton, 2021). Therefore, early oral language skills lead to an inherent understanding of the language and its nature.
In helping a child gain early oral language skills, one must not underestimate the importance of parental support and a properly designed home environment. Specifically, at-home strategies for encouraging early oral language development need to involve active parental participation. Specifically, reading to and with children so that they could become involved in the process and develop their reading autonomy in the future must be represented as an essential approach to supporting early oral language development in learners.
Moreover, parents can use rhymes as a means of encouraging children to view the development of oral language skills as a fun activity. Singing is also likely to produce a positive effect on the learners’ ability to use language effectively during oral communication. Likewise, playing guessing games will guide young learners toward gaining new vocabulary while recognizing the nuances of word building. Last but not least, one must give credit to the idea of creating a language-rich environment for children so that they can build crucial vocabulary and use it when conversing with others. (Boynton, 2021). The application of the [proposed tools will help parents encourage their children to develop the ability to speak English fluently while using the vocabulary that they should be capable of utilizing given their current developmental stage. Furthermore, with the specified strategies, parents will be able to recognize language development issues in children and report them to the pediatrician so that these issues can be addressed promptly.
By multiplying external factors enhancing early childhood development and involving parents in the process, educators will spur the cognitive evolution of children and the acquisition of vital learning skills. Specifically, one must pay exceptionally close attention to the family environment’s effect on children and encourage young learners to play language-related games. Thus, the target demographic will expand their vocabulary and develop speaking skills.
Boynton, K. A. (2021). Supporting early speech-language development. Routledge.