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Many parents are unaware of the different ways in which they can teach their children inflection. Toddlers stressing on words according to context is an important milestone. Though it can take time, a few tricks can help children learn inflection quicker.
From the moment your child utters his first word, it’s an exciting journey for him, trying to pick up new words and form them into meaningful sentences. However, speech is not just about using words; it’s also about fusing them with the right emotions to express ourselves better. It’s important that you help your child learn inflections to become a good communicator.
Introducing Inflection in Speech for Toddlers
1. Do it with Actions:
Though your child may start speaking before he turns 1, it could take him some time to pick up more words that will help him communicate better. However, he may understand a lot more words and sentences that you use. Begin teaching him inflection by introducing gestures that he can associate with words. For instance, shake hands to say ‘hello’ and wave hands to bid ‘goodbye’. When he points at a particular thing, talk to him about it in an easy-to-understand way. Teaching him funny action songs will also go a long way in improving his communication skills.
2. Read Right:
Reading is one of the best ways to speed up the speech development milestone of an 18-month-old toddler. When reading to him, use different emotions and inflections wherever needed. You can give a different voice to each character and encourage him to do the same too. It’ll help him understand how emotions and inflections can change the way a sentence sounds.
3. Tagging Words:
Once your toddler picks up more words, teach him the right way to use them in different contexts. Tag the words with some action words or explanatory words that’ll teach him the correct way to use them to express himself. This is one of the best ways of helping toddlers to speak fluently. For example, when he points to a ball and says “ball”, you can expand on it by saying it’s a “big ball”. Similarly, when he picks a book, ask him to “read the book”. Alter your voice to help him understand the difference in the emotions associated with the words.
4. Alter Your Pitch:
Aside from inflection, you should teach your child the need to speak softly indoors and louder when outside. You can do this by setting the right example. When communicating with him, use appropriate emotions and pitch to express yourself, be it happiness, excitement, anger or disappointment. It’s a great way to help him understand and use inflection in speech.
5. Offer Positive Feedback:
Remember that your tot will not be a pro at inflection right away. However, encouraging and supporting him could help him learn faster. Don’t criticise when he makes mistakes. Instead, repeat the sentence he spoke with the right emotions. He’ll soon pick up.
Speak to your toddler as much as possible, using correct inflection. Children absorb information very quickly and learn a lot from parents.
How did you help your child use inflection in speech? If you have interesting ideas, do share them with us.