The Proprietress of Mabest Elementary School, Professor Adebukola Osunyikanmi has stated that the language development of a child should be compared with norms rather than other children, adding that language development reflects the growth and maturity of the brain.
“This is what I always let the parents know when they are worried about the early language development of their children,” she said at a recent event.
According to her: “I always let them know that the early years of a child till the age of five is the period when they develop their language at a very fast rate. Girls develop language at a faster rate than boys, so it’s not surprising that even as adults the men can’t seem to flow as fast as women especially on the responsive level.
“I always advice parents to watch their language in the presence of their children because this is what will serve as the foundation of the child, you see the ability of a child to comprehend language usually develops faster than their ability to communicate. Just like a bank account you can only take from what you have saved. “I used the bank as an illustration because it is quite easy for every parent to relate with such, when I tell them that at Mabest Elementary School, we give the best to our pupils we also need the parents to give their best so that together we can build future leaders that we will always be proud of anywhere and at any place,” she said.
Osunyikanmi added: “We make sure that our preschool pupils can converse, as well as understand most of what they hear. Most of our five-year-old pupils can tell stories that stay on the topic, while our six-year-old pupils can correct their own grammar and mispronunciations. I always try to put the minds of parents who worry about their little children at rest.
“Yes, language delay is the most common developmental delay that most children experience. However, this is resolved under the age of three especially if the child is in an environment like ours where we encourage the pupils to speak their minds and express themselves freely. This in no little way helps build the confidence of these children. We also let parents know that in our society where our children born into bilingualism you know learning the native language as well as English Language this is equivalent to other children’s comprehension of just one language.”
Osunyikanmi, who is also a lecturer said she is passionate about the welfare of children because they are seeds and what parents and guardians plant is what they will reap.