Which language skills can preschoolers develop?

The basis of mastering the native language — from babbling to meaningful speech — is imitation after parents and / or other relatives. From early childhood there is a kind of "tuning of the jaw" to parental articulation, over the years the jaw "stiffens", making the phonetics of another language more and more complex.

According to scientists, the threshold of the ability to perfectly master a different phonetic system occurs on average at the age of 8-11 years — that is why the development of language abilities of preschoolers is so important.

The later a child begins to learn a second language, the more difficult it is to grow a polyglot out of him — while a child, if he is constantly (and correctly!) taught, he may learn to speak two or three languages ​​at once: he does not have to rebuild his articulatory apparatus, and the correct pronunciation is formed naturally.

Language skills for babies

In preschool age we can’t talk of grammar, rules, exercises, etc. In reality, a baby is only capable of:

  • perceiving the speech by ear;
  • speaking, imitating others;
  • reading books together with adults, later - independently examining interesting pages.

Thus, the skills for mastering a child are the same - both for the native language and for a foreign language.

The most general recommendations for parents from the first days of communication with the child:

  • it is necessary to talk with the baby every day;
  • sounds should be answered with sounds, words — with words;
  • speak clearly and articulate (in everyday life, many speak indistinctly, but “in a conversation” with a child you should try your best), avoid background noises (working household appliances, etc.);
  • objects and actions should be named aloud, it is important to associate words with actions (“I take your cup out of the cabinet”);
  • combine "childish" speech (simple short sentences) with "normal";
  • read as much as possible, draw the child's attention to the connection between oral and written speech;
  • give preference to positive words and expressions, without abusing prohibitions (“shut up”, “quit”, “no”), which do not contribute to the desire to communicate;
  • encourage memorization from the simplest level.

Starting from a year old, you need to ask the child as many questions as possible, to make him think about different things. Songs play a special role in the development of articulation - they need to be sung by baby and with baby together, as well as encourage his "solo" singing.

How to learn English with a child

Perfect knowledge of a foreign language is a serious advantage, and English is one of the languages ​​that open brilliant career prospects. Experts do not cease to argue about the best age to start learning English, but the accepted opinion is this: it is advisable to wait until the process of forming the native language is completed, which happens when a child is about two and a half years.

If there is a person in the family who speaks English so well that he can use it constantly, he can simply speak with the baby exclusively in a foreign language from the first days, while other family members introduce the child to his native language - this is how you can grow a bilingual on your own, artificially creating the bilingual environment around him.

If parents are not 100% confident in their English, it is better to entrust the development of children's abilities to professionals.

English for Preschoolers with Native Speakers

Perhaps the best solution is to send your child to a specialized language kindergarten: in this case, parents will not have to take on such a heavy responsibility (experimenting on their child is not the safest activity), and the child's own separation of languages in child’s mind ​​will be as harmonious as possible: English - in kindergarten, Russian - in the family.

Such an opportunity in Russia is offered by the British school CIS International School. Its English-speaking kindergartens with native-speaking teachers operate in Moscow and St. Petersburg (order a school tour to see the conditions and capabilities of these preschool institutions with your own eyes).

Kindergarten with English requires constant English-speaking communication, which allows children to understand a foreign language as a full-fledged tool for interacting with peers and educators; the playful nature of the training part makes it fun and easy.

It is also important to note that in such institutions the development of the language abilities of preschoolers is combined with the formation of their personal and social qualities. For parents, it is enough to maintain the child's interest in a foreign language with songs, games, watching cartoons, etc.

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