• User AvatarMiriam McKenzie
  • 02 Mar, 2017
  • 1 Min Read

60% of children start school with their oral language below expectations

A Southland school that surveyed their new entrants found that 60% started school with their oral language below expectations.

This worrying statistic was based on the test “Record of Oral Language”, where new entrants had been at school for about six weeks. The delay in oral learning means teachers have to spend more time bringing the children’s oral language up to the correct level before starting to teach them to read and spell.

What’s Your Tongue Got to Do With It?

In terms of correct articulation (how we say sounds and words), sometimes it’s just a matter of where to place our tongue. Correct tongue placement is actually crucial to clear speech.

Unless there’s a physiological reason for incorrect tongue placement, exercises for the tongue and teaching the children the correct techniques to enunciate sounds, then words, then sentences, can improve a child’s speech rapidly.

The best time (in my opinion) to help children with speech difficulties is 3 1/2-6 years of age. This is when you can stop any bad habits from forming and get the tongue working in the correct way.

So, how do you teach a child how to use their tongue correctly? Good question.

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