14 Жов. 2022
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What influences speech development in childhood?

The process of child development is influenced by many crucial factors that should not be overlooked. In particular, it is speech that plays a critical role in establishing a child as a person.

Coherent speech plays a vital role in the overall system of child development. It affects:

  • The development of the child’s intelligence.
  • The development of self-awareness at a young age.
  • Positive shaping of personal qualities.
  • Clear and distinct thinking;
  • Establishing contact with other children and parents.
  • Expression of personal initiative.

The foundation for speech is laid down in the first year of the child’s life, and later – it is a decisive cornerstone in the development of correct speech. This important life skill is shaped thanks to the environment, as well as the influence of parents and peers.

Before proceeding to the discussion of the main question, “What affects speech development in childhood?”, let’s define its main stages.

The main stages of speech development

You must understand that each child’s development is different. If some children speak fluently and clearly already at the age of 4, this does not mean that others will develop the same way. Do not forget about the personality and character of your child.

speech development in childhood

Pre-speech development stage

This stage is vital for the child and the parents alike because the kid starts communicating with the outside world. At this stage, children understand the language of communication and most of the information spoken by their parents, they can tell what they want and point to things.

Ages of 3 to 4

At this age, children consider themselves speakers and have long conversations with their parents and peers. Sure, occasionally, these are silly but fun to listen to. At the age of 3 and 4, pediatricians and speech therapists single out the following specific features that indicate normal and correct speech development:

  • Quick acquisition of words and sentences.
  • Use of plural nouns and irregular verbs.
  • Clear and coherent speech at the age of 3:

— sentences with 4 or more words;

— knowledge and understanding of nursery rhymes;

— correct use of pronouns.

  • At the age of 4, the child communicates completely understandably:

— using long and complex sentences;

— telling interesting and long stories in the correct sequence;

— asking parents numerous questions.

5 to 8 years

At the age of 5, the speech is relatively grammatically correct and mature, the child has an extensive vocabulary. The main indicators of correct speech:

  • At the age of 5, the child speaks in grammatically correct sentences, but occasionally makes mistakes.
  • The child possesses the necessary vocabulary.
  • The child can express their point of view during discussions.
  • By the age of 6, a child’s vocabulary is up to 13,000 words.
  • At the age of 6, the child uses pronouns and understands the difference between them.
  • At the age of 7, the vocabulary ranges from 20,000 to 26,000 words and the kid is able to recognize mistakes made by others.
  • At the age of 8, there are little to no grammatical errors during speech. Children can maintain complex conversations with adults, tell full stories, and so on.

To understand speech development in childhood better, see https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/, where you will find multiple resources on this topic. In particular, note this useful article, which analyzes speech defects among children aged 9 to 24 months.

What affects speech development in childhood

Every parent tries to do everything in their power for their child to grow and develop adequately, healthily, and quickly. Many crucial factors play a role in speech development during childhood.

This is the influence of parents on the development, environment, communication with peers, development of fine motor skills, and attention from the family and other children. Let’s take a closer look at each factor for better understanding.

How parents influence the child’s speech development

how parents influence the child's speech development

Emotional connection within the family is critical for a child, as well as for parents. When a child feels fully protected in the family, they speak successfully and fluently. If the parents raise the child based on overly strict rules and don’t help in establishing language contact or fail to try to become the child’s friend, the latter becomes reserved both mentally and in terms of speech.

You must understand that children at a young age behave like a sponge instantly absorbing everything they see or hear. This is why it is so vital for a mom and dad to speak pure, grammatically correct, and fluent language. Your language and intentions should be emotionally positive, gentle and calm. In addition to mastering the grammatically correct language, remember about cultivating a love for culture and folk art.

There are several essential rules that parents must follow when communicating with a child:

  1. Always talk to your child.

Discuss interesting and common topics. For example, if you decide to go for a walk in the park, discuss with the little one why flowers are growing in the park, and so on.

  1. Reading books with the child.

It is never too early to start reading – it always brings benefits for subsequent development, including speaking skills. You can start reading small books and proceed with long fairy tales.

  1. Less screen time.

For your child to talk more and interact with peers, they need more real-life interactions. It’s good if the child likes cartoons or logical games, yet they are no substitute for live communication.

  1. Frequent and long walks.

Fresh air is necessary to strengthen the immune system and saturate the brain with oxygen, etc. Nonetheless, when you walk with your child, they discover the world prompting you to answer their inquisitive questions.

  1. A positive role model.

Every parent is a hero to their children, so your task is to set a good example to follow. For instance, your child said a bad word. Don’t scold the kid but calmly suggest a nice and polite word instead.

  1. Remember the differences in development.

Don’t forget that children do not yet understand everything when you communicate.

  1. Be able to adapt to the child during the conversation.

Don’t interrupt, listen patiently and show interest to let the kid express their thoughts. Always support the child.

  1. Practice makes perfect.

To teach a child to speak fluently and correctly, you need to practice speech all the time.

  1. Learning new words

The child’s vocabulary can be replenished through books with pictures, songs, dances, and nursery rhymes. The best way is to shape this activity into an interactive game or competition.

Now that we have discussed the basic rules that will help find common ground for your child’s development, it is vital to understand that the child does not perceive the world as adults do. To find out more on this topic, visit the electronic library, where you will find answers to your questions.

The influence of the environment on speech development

the influence of the environment on speech development

The environment plays a positive role in the process of speech development. When a child sees beautiful nature, wild and domestic animals, plants, a river, a lake, etc., they start exploring them. Such exploring starts with questions that must be answered correctly and educationally.

Despite all this, nature promotes the acceleration of metabolism, the strengthening of the immune system, and the restoration of strength and energy. Therefore, don’t neglect your spare time and take your child for a walk to a compelling story.

How communication with peers affects speech

how communication with peers affects speech

Children are very complex individuals who need to be treated gently, kindly and delicately. They prefer to play in the company somewhere on playgrounds or in shopping centres. This is important for the process of acquaintance between peers and their parents. In this way, children find friends and a reason to talk. Establishing contact with each other, children want to see each other again. When they meet, they tell how their day went in kindergarten or at school.

How fine motor skills affect the development of speech

how fine motor skills affect the development of speech

Fine motor skills constitute an important factor in speech development. Many speech therapists and pediatricians name this factor as the most important one. They advise developing fine motor skills starting literally from the baby’s birth by playing finger games. Although many parents start thinking of it some time around the baby’s first birthday.

There are many games for motor skills development. First, use objects and materials that are interesting to the child at the given stage of development. Useful games with various types of cereal or beans. For instance, try pouring beans and peas into a pot and let the child move their hands inside it, put these peas and beans into different cups.

Let the child put small sticks in a box, roll nuts with their palms, and play with knots on a rope. Yet make sure you supervise the baby during such games as they will be around small objects, which they may try to taste. Sculpting is especially useful too. Try anything from plasticine to clay and dough. Or play pyramids, cubes, and sorters together.


Speech therapists advise many useful and interesting things for parents and their children. The main ones are:

  • Use a positive parenting model. That is, try praising the child often whenever they deserve it or distinguish their successes. This will enhance the child’s self-confidence and increase self-esteem.
  • The tone of your conversations should be restrained and calm.
  • Whenever the child performs their work well, manages to maintain a calm conversation or stays composed during a game, encourage them.
  • Create a clear and interesting daily routine for you and your child.
  • Make sure that the child eats well and takes vitamins. Pay particular attention to outdoor walks.
  • Never compare the child with their peers, because this may result in the child becoming reserved.
  • Be a good and positive role model for your children!

If you follow these simple and useful rules, your child will be on the way to adequately developing their speaking skills and personality. For any additional questions or individual consultations, contact a speech therapist.

Furthermore, you can download a speech therapy app for your child, which includes activities developed by speech therapists. It will facilitate correcting the child’s speech at home.

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