Language and literacy develop co-currently. As soon as a baby is born it is met with sound. There are then crucial times in a child’s early years for when language develops:

• At 6 months a child’s brain is ‘open’ to receive babble (their native language)
• At 12 months the brain again ‘opens’ and starts to put sounds they hear together (dada).
• At 24 months the brain again ‘opens’ and this is a crucial time as the child has a vocabulary surge. A child’s vocabulary grows from approx. 1000 words to over 5000 words.

If a child is not fed with language at this stage of development, it is HIGHLY likely they WILL HAVE a language delay and they may potentially never catch up to their peers.

Children’s brains are like sponges; they are constantly listening and linking language to their world.

They play with sounds (rhyme) they associate concepts (dog  ‘woof- woof’), smell the flowers, ambulance  ;woowowowo’. These word associations are really important for children to hear , see and speak.

Language development is highly correlated with school achievement. There is also a very strong link between vocabulary development and reading achievement.

From the time a child is born sing songs and chat to them when they are in your arms, when rocking them in the cradle/ pram/ or playing in the bath.

Look at their face, engage their eyes, smile and copy their mouth movements and make cooing noises.

Read simple books with clear and bright pictures.

Sing nursey rhymes; ‘ROUND-AND-ROUND THE GARDEN’. They will get excited expecting the tickle and soon they will be joining with the sing-song tone and then eventually attempting words.

Flap books are great.

Books that make noises will grab their attention.