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Method 2: create a language-rich environment for babies.

First of all, it is clear that children must be exposed to a language in order to learn that particular language. Can you imagine your baby suddenly speak fluent Chinese while she is never exposed to Chinese before? Not possible.

Especially in the early stages and especially in learning the sound systems and words, imitation is one of the processes involved in language acquisition. The more babies hear the language spoken around them and to them, the better and faster they imitate and eventually produce that language.

And it is fairly simple to do: just talk to your baby as much as possible, even you feel it is silly.

You can name things around him (e.g. bottle, chair, lamps, phone, refrigerator, microwave and so on) and describe their specific functions (e.g. chair is for sitting, phone is for communication, refrigerator is for food storage). Be sure to be consistent in the names you use and their functions, so he starts to associate the words to the sound/meaning relationship and to the purpose it represents.

You can also run a commentary as you go about your daily routines. Tell him you are brushing your teeth and explain why it is good do so at least twice a day. Inform him you are going to make some breakfast and describe the importance of breakfast to health and work. Narrate the route to go to a local grocery store and announce the items on your shopping list.

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Reading is another excellent way to introduce language to your baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends that parents read to their children daily from six months of age, since reading not only stimulates development of children’s brain, but also fuels a close emotional relationship between parents and children.

You can begin with board books with vivid pictures of animals, objects and people. Do plenty of pointing, like this is a flower. It is a red flower with green leaves, or this is an elephant, a BIG elephant; and this is a rat, a SMALL rat.

You can chant songs and share nursery rhymes with your baby. They are playful (e.g. “Rub-a-dub-dub, three men in a tub,) and are easy to remember. They also help your baby build phonological awareness and sensitivity the ability to hear the breakdown of sounds within words and to diagnose rhythms and patterns of languages. As he grows, learning the rhymes himself will help him expand vocabulary, learn number skills and get confidence to express himself through speech.

It doesn’t matter that your baby may not have the slightest inkling f what you are talking about. Before age two, babies are in what experts call the “passive phase” of language acquisition. That means they are soaking up all the words and speech coming from the environment around them, and filing the information away for later use. Therefore, your job is to provide him that environment rich in language experiences.

Related posts:
How to help babies acquire languages? (Method 1)
How to help babies acquire languages? (Method 2)
How to help babies acquire languages? (Method 3)
How to help babies acquire languages? (Method 4)

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