Q: Can Montessori help in any way when a child at the age of 2 is a late talker? If so, how?
The age at which children begin to form full sentences ranges greatly. My concern for a child’s language development would not be triggered at this age based only on a lack of a desire to talk. When children have the tools and a strong desire to communicate, then they will flourish! A Montessori approach to language development is measured and supportive of providing children with the right tools at the right time for their readiness. To support language development at the age of 2, there are a few things that you can do in your home.
- Use enriched language, don’t simplify the environment or give nicknames to objects. Using the real words for objects, actions and needs and wants, means less confusion for the child when they wish to communicate to you and others in the greater environment.
- Play games with language. Everybody plays “I Spy”… to support language development appropriately, use the phonetic sounds of letters rather than the name of the letter. For example if you spy a ship, instead of “I spy with my little eye something beginning with S [pronounced ‘ess’], say “I spy with my little eye something beginning with Shhh]. Follow this later with ending sounds and the sounds in the middle!
- Read, read, and read. Read in front of your children while they quietly watch you in awe of your interest in the activity! Read to your children together. Read street signs and instruction manuals aloud to your children, read the newspaper articles (age appropriate).
- Write in front of your child!! An art that is dying but that is essential to the development of language in the developing child’s brain.
- Sing nursery rhymes together whenever you get a chance and show your child that you enjoy it! Make up songs together for things you do everyday. All these things are showing your child that there are many ways to express them self and they will find their voice eventually.
- Rebecca Grugan