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Toddler Language Issues

  1. #9
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Quote Originally Posted by kacoak View Post
    An interesting recent read that could be relevant to this topic:
    Great article! Thanks!

    I think this quote (shared below) from the article empirically answers FutureHKMom's question about her child learning/not learning English from watching DVD's. Basically, evidence of research shows that showing babies language learning DVDs isn't going to help them learn language. Check it out:

    Dr. Kuhl describes the device as looking like a “hair dryer from Mars,” and she hopes that it will help explore the question of why babies learn language from people, but not from screens.

    Previous research by her group showed that exposing English-language infants in Seattle to someone speaking to them in Mandarin helped those babies preserve the ability to discriminate Chinese language sounds, but when the same “dose” of Mandarin was delivered by a television program or an audiotape, the babies learned nothing.

    “This special mapping that babies seem to do with language happens in a social setting,” Dr. Kuhl said. “They need to be face to face, interacting with other people. The brain is turned on in a unique way.”
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  2. #10
    fingerscrossed is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Tin Hau
    My son will be four in January and until recently, he was lazy to pronounce the 's' sound, 'gool' instead of 'school', etc. Same case with some consonant blends. I didn't correct him when he was 2.5-3 as I was worried it would discourage him from talking but for the past few months, I've been asking him to pronounce the 's' and he's doing so.

    I was told that a speech therapist isn't necessary until about 4-5yrs old. Boys do take slightly longer. Also, try and determine when it's right to start correcting because you don't want to discourage him from being expressive yet the lazy sounds shouldn't turn into a habit.

    We're also billingual - cantonese and English. I'm chinese but was raised overseas so English is better than my cantonese, therefore I use English with my son. I observe that he's thinking in English at the moment. He's been picking up the Cantonese from just being in HK - hearing it from the TV, playing with the neighbours, and his father now would talk to him more in Cantonese. He also attends KCS local stream kindy so he's picking up the Mandarin at school. It may seem like a lot for a 3.5yr old but I'm suprised how he can distinguish the three languages and use them appropriately. My message is to not worry. Let your child's language develop naturally at this stage but make sure the language environment he's in is a 'native' one; that is, if English is used, make sure it's native or at least near-native level. I didn't start off with speaking Cantonese to my son because my Cantonese isn't 'native' enough but he knows that mummy knows both English and Cantonese and when I do speak Cantonese on the odd occasion, he would tell me to speak English not Cantonese...these kids have preferences!

  3. #11
    HappyV is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2005
    It night be worth getting a child's hearing checked - it certainly rules out a whole other issue and does not tend to be too expensive.
    I would argue that if a child can sometimes produce a sound, then a speech therapist is probably not necessary. However, if the child cannot produce the sound at all, then ay least a consult won't do any harm.
    Sometimes what looks like a simple pronunciation issue can mask other problems with pragmatic language.

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