As a continuation of our discussion on school readiness, so far we have discussed the building blocks of school readiness and why they are important. We have looked at how to determine if your child is lacking in school readiness and what you can do to assist in the development of school readiness skills. In the fourth article we looked at the importance of developing your child’s fine and gross motor skills.
The focus of this discussion is on the importance of developing language.
How can you support your child’s language development?
Is is most important to stay attuned to your child’s developing language skills. Specifically, I make mention of articulation, fluency, voice and expressive language. The way your child speaks enables them to clearly communicate to others and express their needs. Often when a child has difficulty talking and being understood by others, it may lead to frustrated outbursts that can contribute to developing behavioural and learning issues.
Articulation is the formation of clear and distinct sounds in speech and involves the ability to be able to move the tongue, jaw, lips and teeth to produce the sounds of words.
The ability to articulate words and clear sentences that are easily interpreted and understood by others supports your child in having their basic needs met and engages them in conversations with peers and adults.
What are the foundations required to develop effective articulation?
- Attention and focus – the ability to stay sustained to see a task through, the ability to process information and instructions
- Hearing – to decipher sounds and words
- Clear middle ear functioning, e.g. ongoing ear infections can inhibit speech development
- Comprehension – understanding that sounds and words convey meaning
- Processing speech sounds – the ability to differentiate between sounds
- Muscle co-ordination – lips, tongue, diaphragm and jaw movement.
Potential problems that can arise owing to poor articulation:
- Social skills – the inability to effectively interact and negotiate with peers
- Expressive language – use of reduced sentences or simple words in an attempt to convey meaning to others
- Self-confidence – may be affected when unable to communicate clearly
- Lack of fluency – the inability to smoothly blend letters and sounds to form words, thus inhibiting sentence structure
- Independence – if your child is struggling with speech, they may need an adult around to assist with language translation
- Behaviour – a frustrated child often releases anger in behavioural displays in order to communicate their needs
- Reading and writing – is frequently affected by poor articulation. The child becomes confused with which sounds form letters and is unable to make spelling choices accurately and may struggle with learning to read.
It is best to seek assistance in the lead-up to school, as soon as you become aware that your child is not speaking as fluently as other children their age and see it as affecting their development. A speech therapist is the best person to guide you through any concerns you may have over your child’s speech.
My next article will be about pre-writing readiness.
SMGS will also be hosting two events in Term 4 that are centred around school readiness. You are invited to:
Wednesday 23rdOctober – Kindergarten Information Evening.
Starting or considering kindergarten in 2020? Then come along to our Kindergarten Information Evening on Wednesday, 23rd October at 6:00 pm.
This evening is open to all enrolled SMGS Kindergarten 2020 families, families considering SMGS Kindergarten in 2020 and all those interested in our Kindergarten program within the community.
The evening will include a discussion on school readiness, an overview of Let’s Explore and what to expect in your child’s first term at school.
We hope to see you there!
Friday 25thOctober – Let’s Explore – SMGS’ Kindergarten orientation program.
Let’s Explore Kindergarten transition to school program consists of one session held over five Fridays. This allows your child to experience different components of a regular school day and explore all areas of school readiness in a hands-on interactive way. Children will engage in learning activities, gross and fine motor practise and social interaction with peers. The focus will be on introducing children to our daily routine in order to familiarise them with our environment and the expectations of school life. We would like children to complete our program with increased confidence and be excited to start their school journey.
Please register for further details, mark these dates on your calendar and register your attendance.
To learn more about Kindergarten at SMGS, click on the button to the right.