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From birth babies have only the gestures, some sounds and crying to communicate and transmit their needs and emotions to the people around them.
How is he baby language development in their first months of birth? In this interview, the psychopedagogue Ana Carballal, an expert in Early Care, clears all doubts about the process of language acquisition of babies.
1. How do babies communicate?
From birth, children communicate with us through gestures and sounds. Through crying, for example, they already tell us that there is something they do not like or for which they feel upset, that they are hungry, afraid, in pain, etc. That is why when we talk about the baby's language, we differentiate two stages: the pre-linguistic and the linguistic stage.
2. What is and how does the pre-linguistic or non-verbal stage develop?
The pre-linguistic or non-verbal stage is so named precisely because there are no words, what there are are sounds, approaches, chirps, babbling, cries and smiles, which constitute the first stage where children are already beginning to communicate, and lasts more or less until twelve months.
The gestures and sounds reveal the baby's mood, as well as different needs: to eat, to have physical contact, to change diapers, to sleep, to drink, etc. Babies transmit and communicate always.
3. What signs tell us that the baby's language is evolving?
How do we see that children evolve? Well, from that initial cry that is the child's first sound manifestation, this will be followed by the appearance of the smile in response to what he does like, guttural and vowel sounds and, little by little, he begins to distinguish intonations of the parents, that is, if they refer to joy, surprise or anger.
This evaluation will also show the babbling and the first approaches that in themselves hardly have a communicative value but that are gaining more and more intentionality and meaning. This will be followed by a jargon or language that parents are already identifying, and those sounds are what the child is getting closer to the word.
4. Why and for what do babies babble?
The babbling is not usually elicited until about four months, although it is true that children before they already make some sounds actively. Babbling is his way of training his facial muscles and phonatory organs to be able to learn to speak, and it is also a way of getting closer to his language and his environment.
In addition to this, adults will not only give information when speaking, but they will also interpret their vocalizations, giving them a meaning in the context in which the child is. With this, we can see how children go from vocalizations you reflect as it is crying, to vowel games, we will appreciate the reduplicative babbling, when the children repeat two equal syllables (mama, tatá), which will be followed by the non-reduplicative babbling, when they repeat different syllables that begins to constitute a slang a way of speaking in which they do not say words but perform rises and falls of tone that resemble the way of speaking of adults.
5. How does the transition occur between babbling and the baby's first words?
In their process of evolution between babbling and the first words, children will begin, little by little, to imitate more sounds of what their parents say and to relate the information that their environment is giving them about an object with it.
In this way, the jargon of which we spoke earlier will appear and, in that jargon, they will use the union of several sounds similar to a word to refer to something always in the same way, for example, when they say “aga”, for water, something that people from the environment in which it is understand, and, finally, those sounds will evolve until the first word.
6. How can parents interfere and help their baby communicate more?
At this stage, it is important that parents talk to your baby often, respond to their babbling and make different expressions with your face. Talking is something we do continuously and that we can start at any time, for example, in daily routines.
They are the best time to enrich the world of our children with new information, words, gestures, expressions of affection and this, without a doubt, is the best means for the development and maturation of language. So, we can choose to enrich these activities, not only for the act of speaking, but for all that it contains, complicity, affection, security, affection, learning, experience and emotions.
Author: Ana Carballal. Psychopedagogue
You can read more articles similar to Baby's language: from babbling to first words, in the category of On-site Verbal Language.