If you’ve ever had a pet parrot or parakeet that could speak a little, you are going to have a pretty good idea about what it takes to teach an infant vocabulary and grammar. Your little bird is going to learn how to talk the exact same way Polly did, which is through consistency, mimicry and repetition. In relation to your and infant and their development of speech, you are going to be the foundation of how well they are going to learn and communicate with others. It’s common knowledge that parents are the number one influence on a child’s development and the reason you are so vital is because you are their first and most consistent form of human contact they are going to have so it’s important that you take care to educate them properly.
What You Should Do
-Speak to them consistently immediately after birth despite their level of comprehension.
-Ask them lots of questions to encourage speech and develop good conversational skills and practice.
-Expose them to the other people speaking with you or to others around them.
-Try to use correct grammar and pronunciation.
-Speak in an upbeat manner.
-Begin reading to them as soon as possible.
-Give mini lessons. Once they start talking gently try to tell them the correct wording and sentence structure after they say something incorrect and try to have them repeat the correct version after they hear it.
What You Shouldn’t Do
-Don’t rely on TV for exposure, it will only cause damage.
-Resist the urge to use too much baby talk.
-Don’t interrupt or criticize them too much when they begin speaking. (Look up the famous experiment conducted by Wendell Johnson to fully understand why.)
-NO PACIFIERS! Not only do they ruin tooth alignment but studies have shown that they delay the use of speech and keeps inhibits them from talking at a time when they should be practicing communication.