Language is the central tool for communication. Without language, we would’ve found it difficult to communicate, build relationships, or get anything done. Those who have a strong command of language can communicate much more effectively than others who don’t. They feel more confident than the others. Individuals who lack language skills frequently suffer from a lack of confidence, low self-esteem and an inferiority complex. Effective communication is the stepping stone to all kinds of success. Whether it is in academics or any profession, medicine, engineering, business, etc. those who have a strong command of the language have a higher chance to outpace those who don’t.
Building a command of a language takes time and effort. The earlier we start, the better it is. Below we mention some fun and useful literary activities for preschoolers. These activities can help accelerate language development in preschoolers.
The coochie coo that we do with toddlers is the first step towards language development. Even before they go to preschools or start any formal education in languages, parents do tend to communicate with their kids in a language of their own. These are the most potent language-learning literary activities for preschoolers. Use these conversations wisely. Emphasise the current usage and pronunciation of words. Many families insist on conversing with their kids only in English. Whichever language you want your kid to master, it is not a bad idea to push that language as the sole mode of communication throughout the day. Same needs to be done at schools where teachers and administration need to insist on using the chosen language as the sole medium for communication. As the proverb goes, practice makes perfect. The more the kids speak the language, the better they become at it.
We all grow up listening to stories from our parents and grandparents. Listening to stories introduces kids to new words and new ways of expression. Make sure to use correct language if you are the one telling stories to the kids. Pick stories that use language creatively. Explain the meanings of complex words while telling the stories. These storytelling sessions could be extremely potent language activities for preschoolers. Gradually, instead of you telling them stories, ask the kids to start narrating stories to you. This is how they will move from listening to speaking.
In addition to listening to stories, preschoolers can listen to various other content in the chosen language. This could be TV shows, speeches of leaders, songs, movies etc. Listening to good speakers from a young age can imbibe good speaking habits. They also learn new words which add to their vocabulary. Preschoolers can learn from these great orators how to use words to tell a great story and arouse emotions among their listeners.
Word games such as Scrabble, word scramble, spelling bee, crosswords, quizzes, etc. can be fun and useful language activities for preschoolers. Today’s digital world is full of such fun and engaging word games. Markets are full of interactive word game toys, and platforms such as YouTube are full of freely available word games to be used as language development activities for preschoolers.
With word games, kids can learn while having fun. Learning in a fun way can also lead to higher retention levels for the kids.
Making someone laugh needs a careful expression which requires a good command of the language. Give the preschoolers a collection of jokes and ask them to tell jokes to the rest of the family or class. They might fail to land the punch a few times but persist with them. They will succeed eventually and, in this process, would have learnt a thing or two about how to manipulate words and expressions to make them sound funny.
Tongue twisters are another activity similar to telling jokes where the children learn to play with words. Most of us would’ve chanced across the famous “She sells sea shells on the seashore” Not easy to say it out loud fast, right? Tongue twisters have been proven to clear out pronunciation in preschoolers. Tongue twisters stretch and strengthen the muscles we use for speaking. Who knew language activities for preschoolers could also involve exercising the speaking muscles?
Language-related riddles can be another fun and useful language activity for preschoolers. For example,
- What begins with T, ends with T and has T in it?
The online world is full of easy-to-access word-based riddles which could prove to be useful language activities for preschoolers.
Once preschoolers start reading, there is no better language development activity for preschoolers than reading. Give them access to high-quality books from acclaimed authors. These books need to be engaging to hold their interest. You can even try short stories, fiction, non-fiction, picture books, poetry and rhymes. When they read, they will learn a lot about new words, sentence formation, and expressing their ideas using words. You can also urge preschoolers to read out aloud so that they can practise their spoken language as well.
Engaging in other cultural activities such as singing, debating, dramatics, etc could also be useful language development activities for preschoolers. Excelling in such activities requires excellence in the usage of language. Kids also enjoy engaging in such activities and developing other aspects of their personalities along with language skills.
Practice makes perfect. The more you put kids in a position where they need to converse, the more they will learn. Even at home, talk to them. Converse with them on their favourite topics. Let them meet other people in society so that they get to talk to different types of people who might have their ways of conversing in the language. This variety of exposure can be very useful in developing their language skills.
At EuroSchool we work actively with our students to develop best-in-class language skills in them. We direct our students to only converse in English while they are in school.