How to improve pronunciation

Discussion in 'The Toddler Years(1-3)' started by atinar, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. atinar

    atinar Well-Known Member

    Hi mums,

    My boys will be 3 next month, and still they can't form a complete sentence. For instance instead of "I want to wash my hands" they'd say "wash my hands" and instead of "I want to put my shoes on" they'd say "shoes". I tend to tell them the correct sentence and try to make them repeat it at times, one of the boys repeats it more often than the other.

    Yet, they understand everything I tell them and ask them to do and they are a vibrant and lively boys.

    Are they in a speech delay? I registered them to school for next September (In my country children start school once they are past 3 years old), yet I haven't taken them to any kindergarten or daycare because I thought it better to take care of them myself, even though I feel that they get a bit bored at home. Does socializing with other kids increase their talking skills?

    Anyhow, my kids currently hear 3 languages: when they were born, I started to talk to them in French while my DH and I speak always Arabic. After they turned 2 or so, I decided to speak with them Arabic, because parents of children who speak only French with their kids will have difficulties understanding and learning Arabic at school. And they like a lot Barney (in English eventually) and playhouse Disney (in French and English).

    Would it be better to focus them on just one language first and then once they acquire it, move on to the next? Is there a test I can do to assess the speech level of my kids? does watching TV harm their speech development? How many hours maximum is it recommended that 3 years old boys watch TV? What did you do to improve the talking skills of your kids that proved to work?

    Thanks a bunch for your input and advice.
  2. j_and_j_twins

    j_and_j_twins Well-Known Member

    I don't have the answer to the different languages. But for the sentences just saying what you want them to. If they say "wash hands" you repeat back "you would like to wash your hands" Hopefully others will help you with the languages
  3. kingeomer

    kingeomer Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I'm not sure about the different languages myself. I really don't think TV would harm language development.
    I do the same as you, I will teach them the proper sentence for asking for things : May I have my shoes? vs. shoes? It does take time but it does get better. My two are 4 and I know they can speak in sentences and there are times when they will just use one word to ask for things. I just ask them, "How do we ask?" And then they will usually say the proper sentence but there are times I will get, "Drink, please."
    As for having them assessed for a language delay, I would ask your pediatrician about it if you feel like they should. It sounds me like they are on the right track though.
    Good luck!
  4. Dielle

    Dielle Well-Known Member

    I'm not an expert but do have 6 kids and know that kids develop at different rates. I had one who didn't talk much at all until he was three and another who talked before his first birthday and in paragraphs by the time he was 2. The rest were somewhere in the middle. The thing I do when they get to where I know they can repeat what I say, is just to say "how do you ask?" right now Spencer might say "I want milk!" So I'll ask him how to ask nicely and the conversation might be... "I want milk... Please." me: "Please, may I have some milk?" Spencer: "Please may I have some milk, please?". He usually throws in an extra "please" at that point. Slowly they remember and start filling in the small words that are part of normal conversation. But by sort of. Requiring it when they want something, it seems to eventually filter to the rest of their conversation.

    As for teaching more than one language, I haven't done it but have a number of friends who have. Most have used both and the kids just eventually learn to differentiate which words, grammar, etc goes with which language. Kids learn so much better when they're young. But one friend is from Mexico but only speaks English to her kids until they go to school. She worries that they would have a harder time in school. Then she starts with Spanish when they're still young but in school. But I think she does that because she knows children of her friends who never spoke much English at all and then had a hard time in school.
  5. Minette

    Minette Well-Known Member

    I don't have personal experience with multiple languages, but I've read that it does make kids slower to become proficient at any one language. However, I would not stop doing it for that reason! They'll get it straightened out and will be fluent in 2-3 languages, which is fabulous!

    3 is also still pretty young, especially for boys. One of my DDs wasn't speaking in long sentences at that age, and she did have speech therapy at 2.5, but she tested out of it at 3. If they still aren't doing it in 6 months, you might consider having them tested. (I have no idea what the standards would be in French and/or Arabic.)

    How much TV to watch is a whole different question. I actually think it would probably be helpful for language acquisition, but it's not great for their brains in general. At 3, I'd say an hour or so a day is probably fine, but I wouldn't want to do more. However, opinions about this vary widely! And my kids were in daycare (with no TV) all day from 8 weeks old, which made it a lot easier for me to restrict TV because they were only home & awake for a couple of hours a day.
    1 person likes this.
  6. Fran27

    Fran27 Well-Known Member

    We speak two languages at home and my kids are speech delayed as well... I actually started speaking French less so they can catch up with English better, although I feel pretty guilty about it (it doesn't help that my kids only answer in English anyway)... It doesn't seem to me that your kids are that badly delayed though, my kids were worse, but you could try and have them assessed for speech therapy or something... We did it for a while but my insurance won't cover it anymore... mine are 4 now and still behind, but catching up at least.

    But frankly I have yet to find any definite answer about speech delays and multiple languages. Everyone has a different opinion about what you should do, although the general idea is that it might delay them at first but should help in the future... so who knows. Just wanted to tell you that you're not alone!

    For the TV, I have no idea. I know that in theory TV isn't great, but I have no idea frankly about the impact it has on kids that are brought up with two languages. I know my kids' English improved once we started putting more tv on...
  7. Danibell

    Danibell Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I also can't help on the multiple languages, but it stands to reason that it would be difficult to concentrate on one language if you have 3 languages being thrown at you constantly.

    However, I don't think they are that delayed. My twins just turned 3 and sometimes speak in stilted sentences. Words like I, The, Of...are more filler words, and they haven't figured out the specifics of that yet. "My needs juicie", "Mine got mine shoes on", "Rylee hit me"...etc is what they say. In the next couple years the sentence structure starts to develop more.

    As for tv, in my personal and unprofessional opinion, appropriate programming for kids won't delay or set them back, and they'll actually learn from them. Colors, shapes, kids learn those from watching Mickey Mouse, Little Einsteins, Dora the Explorer, Blues Clues....etc. I have no problem with my kids watching tv. So far, my oldest is 10 and in the gifted and talented classes at school. My second oldest is 5 and is right on schedule for learning to read single words.

    Girls tend to talk more/better than boys do as a sort of general guideline, and we found it true with our b/g twins. Liam did the more active stuff first (rolled over, crawled, walked, climbed, ran...etc), and Rylee did the more intellectual stuff first (first smile, first belly laugh, speaking, sympathy for someone who is upset...etc).
  8. mama_dragon

    mama_dragon Well-Known Member

    No idea about multiple languages spoken in the house. But 3 year olds should be able to talk in 3 word sentences but grammer isn't always there at this age.

    As for TV. Studies have shown that watching TV in young children can slow langauge development. I know lots of people say otherwise but overall the more TV a young child watches the slower their language development. Even if the TV is only on in the background it can have a negative impact on language development. I would try to limit TV to an hour a day. Article
  9. Fran27

    Fran27 Well-Known Member

    TV in multiple languages households is a totally different matter though... it increases exposure to a language that the kid might not necessarily hear a lot of. I mean, I spoke French to my kids all day until they were 2.5. The only English they heard was when hubby was home (and he doesn't spend all his time talking). They had almost no words at 2. We moved when they were 2.5 and they started to watch tv, and their language improved a lot after that.

    English is my second language too - I only started to learn it when I was 12. But when I was little, my parents used to show us Looney Tunes cartoons in English, and I'm still convinced that it's one of the reasons I picked it up so fast.

    The truth is, we just don't know right now what's good and what's not. Even speech therapists don't agree about what's best, when it comes to different languages. And it's extremely hard to feel that you're doing the right thing when you want your kids to at least understand two languages, but they are so speech delayed that you feel guilty about speaking another language to them. I never expected it to be so hard, I'm just hoping they'll be able to communicate in French eventually but will catch up with English soon...
  10. slugrad1998

    slugrad1998 Well-Known Member

    Your boys sound completely normal for 3 year olds. To assess for speech delay, we look for 3 word sentences and 75% intelligible by someone other than you. Multiple languages do slow expressive language but not receptive, so they are actually probably advanced in the number of words they understand. I doubt they need any special focus and will pick up everything they need listening to you, your husband and at school.
    1 person likes this.
  11. atinar

    atinar Well-Known Member

    Wow! thanks a lot for your valuable input! I agree that interactive activity with the child helps in speech development better than television, yet television isn't that bad too when watched in moderation as a lot of it is educational too such as Mickey Mouse and others.
    I'll make sure to talk more to my kids during the day...and eventually they'll improve in the end.
    Thanks again.
  12. TwinxesMom

    TwinxesMom Well-Known Member

    Something no one else has suggested is reading to them. I do believe that this encourages sentence structor in speech.
  13. atinar

    atinar Well-Known Member

    Thanks, I started reading to them and noticed that interactive communication with them through a story and me correcting their word or sentence, seem to encourage them to express themselves more, which begins to increase their communication skills.
  14. twinkler

    twinkler Well-Known Member

    Hi I notice this is an old thread but thought I'd just mention that my little cousin had 3 languages exposed to him (English and Hindi at home and Arabic with full-time nanny) from when he was a baby and subsequently could only speak in jibberish with odd words here and there until he started school at 5years, then within a month he was talking as everyone else and from all accounts has had no difficulty since and is an extremely intelligent boy (he is now 12) . I agree that if you counted up all the words your boys know in the three languages, you would find that they know a lot!

    And I just wanted to weigh in on the tv issue... I am a very strict Mum in regards to homework, what they eat, manners etc... However, I was a single Mum for 9 years with my DD (who incidentally started talking before 12 months) and as I was working from home, I used TV as my babysitter for a couple of hours per day. Yes I've read what all the studies say, but for me what was is more important is that the shows they watch is appropriate and as you say educational (and it was cheaper than daycare - I know very naughty of me [​IMG] !). I still do not let her watch MA shows, and I do not see any negative impact on her from being exposed to over 2 hours TV while she was young. She is at the top of her class in Maths, English and Science as well Japanese this year. But I would also like to add, that TV was not the only educational resource in her day, we also always did some sort of art and craft and at least half an hour to an hour of reading every day. It is a balance as well as moderation.
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