You may have noticed that every child tends to vary when it comes to how their speech patterns develop. Some children will be able to speak clearly at a young age, while others may still have lisps or difficulties saying certain words.
While this can be improved over time, you may need to step in and help your child develop their articulation skills once they enter primary school. You may want to consider enrolling your child into phonics classes.
But, how can we parents help with our child’s articulation skills? Here are some easy steps to follow to help your child develop proper articulation:
Modeling Correct Speech
One of the best ways to help with a child’s articulation is by showing them how to do the speech correctly. You can even try to teach phonics at home.
When they make a mistake, don’t correct them immediately. Instead, take your time to repeat each word and let them copy you afterward. For example, if they say “Give chocowates”, you can say “Yes, we will give them chocolates. Will you help me make them?”
When you speak to your child, don’t speak fast because it will disable them from keeping up with you and learn the right rhythm to speak properly. Speaking carefully and in a natural tone will also inspire your child to try the words themselves and try using the words themselves.
You can also help them learn correct speech patterns by using your conversations with them. Ask them about things they have done throughout the day and help them learn new words in the process. Here are some more activities to engage your child.
Be Their Speech Partner
If you want to improve your child’s articulation skills, you need to give them someone who can serve as their speech partner.
As their first teacher, we parents can step in as their speech partners and help them practice words with the help of speech aids like word cards or even objects around the house. You can use this opportunity to encourage your child to speak up.
You can also use games to teach your child new words and phrases, but keep them brief so your child won’t get bored with the practice session. You should also make them frequent so that it becomes second nature to your child to keep learning.
If you are uncertain which materials to use to help your child improve their speech skills, you can ask our tutors for help.
Always Keep Up with Revisions
Revisions can definitely improve your child’s articulation skills since revision allows you to test your child’s understanding and improve their technique.
For example, you can repeat what they answered but use the right pronunciation and sounds which they can repeat afterward. You should always do revisions regularly so that your child understands the importance of proper intonation and pronunciation.
Your child can do revisions on their oral skills on top of their other subjects. Here is how to maximise your child’s revision.
Let Your Child Contribute to Your Discussions
For children to be able to improve their speech skills while outside of school, there should be opportunities at home where they can speak to people.
In this case, you can include your child in your daily discussions as you eat or hang out in your living room. The topics you can talk about include their daily activities, what they are thinking about or just random things around them. To give you an idea, why not talk about current affairs in Singapore?
When they talk, let them finish what they are saying before you jump in. Each child differs on how fast they can think things through and affects how fast they answer.
Once they are finished, you can repeat the sentences which your child stumbled on and teach them the right way to do it.
You should also make it a point to introduce new words in your responses and if they ask, give examples on how these new words can be used in a sentence.
Make Reading a Habit
Studies have often argued that the more children read, the more vast their vocabulary is. Every book uses different words to create a story and some of them won’t be available for your child to learn in a normal context.
Inspire them to read by reading to them. While you read to them, put the right expressions for speech lines and pronunciation for complex words. For complex words, you can say the word slowly so your child can learn its pronunciation and then give them an example on how it is used. You can also use these techniques to build better reading behaviour.
For example, if the word you read is “conspicuous”, you can say “Conspicuous. It means you are standing out in a crowd for being different.” Having a thesaurus with you will help you make the right examples for these complex words.
Meanwhile, when you do speech lines, let your child repeat it after you to help them become familiar with the saying and find situations where it can be used. It also helps them learn how to add the right emotions when saying similar sentences in certain situations.
Do avoid these mistakes when you are teaching your child to read.
Finally, you can also help your child pick up on articulation skills by debating with them. You can ask them open-ended questions which will cause them to think and start a discussion.
Some of the questions you can ask include “Tell me about your day in school”, “What would happen if they did not clean up their toys” and so on.
When you do start these debates, give your child time to think of a response and finish their statement. Once they finish saying their response, repeat it with the right pronunciation and add your thoughts on the matter. Not only will this help with their pronunciation, this will encourage your child’s curiosity like we mentioned here.
You should also keep your cool during these debates in case your child takes a while to respond to you back. Remember, your child may need time to process their response and find the right words for it.
There are many ways to help our children develop the right articulation skills that will help them express their ideas and opinions. These six steps, you can give your child more opportunities to hone their speech and learn new words to use to answer questions.
With some patience and guidance, your children will slowly be able to tell us what they feel without having to second guess if we understood them correctly.
For a better understanding on how to help your child in their oral skills, check out these articles: