Language is the social glue in our everyday life…
We oftentimes don’t even notice it, but language is everywhere! We use language each and every day, all the time. Calling a friend, complaining about the weather, giving a presentation at work, describing a health issue at the doctor’s office, asking for a price at a grocery store, or ordering coffee—the list is endless… In all of these situations we use language to communicate with others, to express wishes, intends, and feelings. Language allows us to talk about things, to express thoughts, and to structure the world around ourselves. Language is a piece of our cultural identity, of who we are. In short, language is our social glue. It’s a tool that we use each and every day and that we oftentimes take it for granted.
…but we oftentimes take it for granted.
When children begin to speak, they start by babbling. Soon they say their first word. Not long after that, they are able to form basic two-word expressions like “Mommy go” or “Eat apple.” And it doesn’t take long before they say complete sentences and engage in full conversations with us. As parents we are excited about every sound, every word, and every sentence our children say. We are amazed at how quickly they can understand what we say in one or more languages and how fast they learn to speak. However, we are not really surprised at the language development in our child because we know that most children learn that at some point. What we often forget though is what an incredible accomplishment it is to learn one or even more languages and how fundamentally important good communication skills are in life academically, socially, and professionally.
Helping your child to develop good language skills is a gift that keeps on giving!
However, supporting your child’s language development is an ongoing process that requires dedication and commitment– especially if you are raising your child with multiple languages. It’s always work in progress! And the job never seems to be done. But it’s worth it because you give your child a foundation for life–a foundation they can use and build on in every academic, social, or professional context throughout their lives.