The first phase normally incorporates the time from birth till about the age of three. In this phase the child learns that communication exists, and he begins to listen and understand basic words and sentences. At the end of this stage, the child has mastered a rudimentary vocabulary with simple sentence structures and basic grammar.
A baby at three months of age begins to distinguish the recognitions of sounds and where noises originate. He starts to use his voice to attract the others’ attention as well as the occasional smile to communicate. At six months a baby can recreate distinctive sounds, laughs more frequently, and responds to stimulation from touch and sounds. At nine months, the repetition of sounds such as aba, papa, and mama become more practiced and the child turns around when he hears his name called. He understands and responds as well to the meaning of the word “No!” At the end of the first year, a child can understand simple sentences in both languages such as “Come here”, “Don’t touch”, etc. At 15 months, a child begins to recognize the meaning of sentences, such as, “Where is the ball”, “Give me the doll”, and begins to say his first words. At 18 months, the child begins to increase his vocabulary in both languages and now he is able to respond in both languages to the question “What is this”, or “What is that”. At the age of two, he begins to combine two or more words in both languages, can use adjectives and recognizes the different parts of his body. The child enjoys story-telling. At the end of his second year of life, he is able to make the sounds of each letter of the alphabets of the languages as well as recognizing some letters. In this stage of language development the main goal is to learn the melody of the languages along with basic vocabularies.
Few following points are therefore recommended to the parents:
Keep a direct communication with your child, and use as many varied topics as possible in both languages.
Name objects and constantly repeat the name of objects found in the child’s surrounding for example, ball, doll, blanket, etc. But name them once in one language and another time name them only in the other language, do not mix two languages.
Keep in mind that the mentioned stages are parts of a general nature and children might develop at differently. Furthermore, it is important to consult a Pediatrician in the event that progress is not being made. The Pediatrician can examine the child to determine if there are physical impediments such as hearing disabilities which can influence the child’s progress. If problems are detected he can further recommend an Ear-Nose-Throat Doctor or a Speech Therapist.
If you want to know more about what is recommended feel free and get in touch with me!