Monday, July 1, 2013
Should I correct my child speaking?
When my son started saying his first words, I remember I asked myself: Should I correct my child speaking? It is probably a typical question of all the parents who either they raise a monolingual, bilingual or multilingual child.
My answer now is Yes! Definitely and especially if you are the ONLY language model for your child. If you correct your child speaking from the time he pronounces his first words he will accept it as a norm. If you wait too long and start correcting him too late, the child might feel self - conscious about talking.
When my son started speaking I was repeating the first the words after him, articulating the way they should be pronounced. Later I was modeling the correct sentences.
Most of the time I just use the correct words in my question or in reply by saying "Oh! it is true. ... " , using the correct sentence instead of dots. When no hidden ways of corrections are possible -- however, it is important to correct -- I just say "You should say: ....". I use the direct correction sparely and prefer to use the indirect ways instead.
When I feel my children are receptive, I ask them to look at my mouth to see the tongue positioning when I pronounce sounds and words. The kids like to repeat after me. I do not insist though.
It is clear that children can not pronounce all the words and build the sentences correctly right away. It is important to remember not to over correct them. By the age of 5, independently on the language they speak, the pronunciation should in most cases be fully established. I still have one year ahead of me to help my child to master his.
There are two very important rules when you correct somebody (a baby or an adult):
whatever you do, never repeat the incorrect word, phrase or sentence. Just say the correct way right away. Modeling the correct sentences works best.
And do not interrupt a speaking person in the middle of the sentence. The interruption can have adverse affect on child's talking. It is important to maintain his words flow.
You might also like to read:
Ha ha ha or correcting your child's pronunciation problem.
Bilingual child: when to start reading?
Bilingualism and speech delay. How can you help?
What language should I speak to my child in public? - Multilingual parent dilemma.
7 principles to keep in mind while teaching your child to read.