When do babies start talking?

by | Mar 2, 2022 | Nursery, Yago School

From the moment babies are born, their brains are extremely receptive and start a highly intensive process of development. This period is particularly significant and maturation takes place mostly during the first 3 years of life. Therefore when children arrive to Yago School Nursery is when it becomes most important to reinforce the acquisition of language skills and so our teachers stimulate them constantly with images, intelligence bits, stories, sounds not only in Spanish but also in English. This way the baby understands and identifies the sounds and words of both languages and is able to communicate in both languages. 

We must distinguish between speaking and language. Both are different aspects that develop at different times. It is important that babies have a communicative intention from the first moment and to begin to express themselves through gestures or sounds until they develop speaking.

The first expression babies use to communicate is crying. They need to cry to express their basic needs such as eating, sleeping or to say that they are upset. In addition, from birth, babies begin to recognise the sounds around them, especially those of their mother, their immediate family and people who look after them, for example, the voice of their teachers.

At Yago School Nursery we encourage early language acquisition, so that babies begin to distinguish and recognise the sounds, phonemes, structures… of Spanish and English at the same time and incorporate them into their speaking from the very first months of life. 

Language Stages

Language development is divided into four stages: 

  • Prelinguistic (0 to 12 months): crying, babbling, recognising sounds.
  • Holophrasic (1 to 2 years): isolated words.
  • Combined or “telegraphic speech” (2 to 3 years): simple sentences omitting words.
  • Advanced (from 3 years onwards): language development.

 

The pre-linguistic stage begins in the first year of life when the baby produces some vowels or recognises its name at 3 or 4 months of age and starts to babble at around 7 months and produces other sounds of the mother tongue at 11 months. Then comes the holophrastic stage, in which the child begins to say single words such as “water”. Around two years old, they start blending stage, with a wider vocabulary, which allows the child to connect words forming sentences. Isolated words are combined to construct sentences with subject and predicate; verbs appear in speech. However, minor words, such as determiners, are omitted. For this reason, this phase is also called “telegraphic speech”. During this period, statement intentions emerge, especially between the ages of two and three years. Thus, children begin to formulate questions or sentences with exclamatory meanings, among others… Finally, children reach the advanced stage, the period in which the speech of children from the age of 3 years onwards is very similar to that of an adult. This is a gradual process that culminates in the perfection of language. During this stage, comprehension is more important than expression. In other words, young children are able to understand sentences that they would not be able to produce themselves. They also show a special interest in the world around them. They constantly ask questions about their environment in order to discover how to name them.

Language development is fast, variable and depends on every child. 

                                                  

Tips from our experts

Here you will find some easy tips to help babies develop but the first and most important tip is to talk to them a lot and clearly, articulating all the words well, pointing to objects and naming them, even if they don’t answer you, ask them how they are, how their day has gone, what they have played, what they have eaten, and so on. You have to be patient because they will rarely answer but with perseverance every day you will help them to develop good language skills.

  1. Talk to them a lot, pronouncing the words clearly. 
  2. Point at things or show them pictures and name them.
  3. Ask them lots of questions
  4. Play music, sing and make sounds that your child can recognise and name.
  5. Explain and describe everything you do
  6. Read lots of stories and tell stories to your child.
  7. Play games with him. Manipulative or pretend play by saying things with gestures or mimes helps communication.

In this early stage is when the brain is more plastic and is able to differentiate between the sounds of the mother and the people who take care of them at Yago School Nursery introducing them to English at this age. Learning is by immersion, as they are exposed to this second language for at least 50% of the day so that the children perceive the different sounds, rhythms, vocabularies, grammatical structures… and learn both languages at the same time in order to achieve real bilingualism. 

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