How To Teach A Child To Speak Properly?

Through communication, children will be able to express their needs, wants, and concerns. It will help them excel in school, in their social life, and their future jobs as well. As a parent, I made it my priority to be my child’s first teacher. So, I did a lot of research to find the best approach to take. In this article, I will discuss the challenges, tips, and ideas on how to encourage a child to speak. 

How to teach a child to speak properly? Respond to your child’s non-verbal attempts to communicate. Praise even their smallest effort. Talk to them. Explain things in their surroundings. Try to understand what your child is telling you. Use play ideas to keep learning interesting. Importantly, give your child time.

Teaching your child will require a lot of hard work and patience. With an understanding of a child’s speaking progression, you can avoid a lot of frustration. Also knowing the right nurturing conditions can help your child speak properly in a timely manner. In the rest of the article, you will learn all you need to know, so you can teach your child to speak properly.

Understanding Your Child’s 5-Year Milestones

In this section, I will discuss a child’s speaking milestones for the first five years. This can guide you to choose which approach is best to teach your child to speak effectively.

It’s important to know and understand what your child’s milestones are through the years. Being aware of these milestones, you will be able to give the amount of support and encouragement your child needs.

First Year

In the first year, your child will be able to say single words such as “Mama,” “Dada,” or even the name of their favorite toy. Your child will already be babbling words out and attempting to repeat what they hear in a conversation.  

Second Year

In the second year, your child will be able to repeat two- to three-word sentences. They can be something they heard from the television or the people around them.

Take this chance to teach them simple commands such as cleaning their room or keeping their toys. You can teach them proper grooming and brushing their teeth as well.

Third Year

In the third year, your child can already speak well enough to be understood by people outside your family. They will attempt to retell stories at this age.

Take note that their stories will be confusing, and they may still mispronounce words. This is the age where your child is still adjusting to the proper use of words and sentence construction. Let them take their time.

Fourth Year

In the fourth year, your child will already be asking questions such as “how,” “why,” or “what” constantly. Take note that although your child can probably speak clearer at this age, they can still mispronounce a few words.

This is the year when they are expanding their vocabulary. They will be applying them when they are telling you stories about how their day went. Gradually correct them when they use a word wrong.

Fifth Year

In the fifth year, your child can already tell a story using their own words. Though it may still be hard to understand your child’s confusing word choices, remember to praise them for their small attempts to talk.

This is the perfect time to give them an interesting book and read with them. Step by step, you can already teach them how to read at this age without rushing into things. Guaranteed that your child will be more motivated and interested once they see creative pictures in front of them.

Factors Influencing A Child’s Language Development

Certain factors influence a child’s language development. Knowing these factors, parents will be more aware that growth is different from one child to another. By understanding this fact, it will be easier to know what steps to take to teach a child to speak.

In brief, the factors are: 

  1. Health and Physical Development 
  2. Cognitive Ability 
  3. Sex 
  4. Environment and Motivation 
  5. Number of Siblings 
  6. Bilingualism

Health and Physical Development

Having poor health can delay a child’s speech development. When children have a severe or prolonged illness, they are separated from other people, which lessens their chance to learn how to speak properly.

Cognitive Ability

According to studies, children with higher intelligence and are mentally alert usually talk early. Considering other external factors that can delay a child to communicate, they may also be slow beginners and can still develop over time. A delay does not always mean they have low intellectual development. 


Boys and girls show similar language development in their first year. During the second year, girls mature more drastically in speech, especially when they are close to their mothers.

Girls show greater mastery in communicating, and they talk fluently. Boys, on the other hand, still tend to commit more grammatical mistakes at this age.

Environment and Motivation

If a child doesn’t have the motivation to communicate, language development will be delayed.

When a child is in an environment where they don’t need to communicate or talk, the child will most likely be discouraged to learn words and their meanings. The effect of being in a stimulating environment is important to motivate a child to speak properly.

Number of Siblings

Some say that children from one-child homes learn how to speak quicker because their parents are more attentive and focused on them.

While others argue that having more siblings helps a child expand their vocabulary, and they are more often exposed to communication. This still varies from one family to another, depending on how you interact with and encourage them.


When a child is trying to learn two languages at the same time, they become confused about which to put their focus on. This confusion may lead to frustration that can affect their motivation to learn.

To teach a child to speak properly, teach them first the language that they will usually use at home. A child can adjust when they are of school age and can already comprehend, which is around the age of five or six.

Advice On How To Teach A Child To Speak Properly

When teaching a child to speak properly, you must encourage them the best way you can. Show your child that you are patient and give them time to absorb every word. Make it a bonding time, so they can enjoy with you, while they are learning at the same time.

Remember that you can use some play ideas such as reading out loud, reciting nursery rhymes, and naming body parts with them. Make use of things that may excite your child to learn. 


There are a lot of things you can put into practice to teach your child to speak. However, the main key for them to speak effortlessly lies within proper encouragement and family support.

With proper encouragement and family support, your child will surely persevere harder. This doesn’t only apply in speaking, but in all areas of life.

Related Questions

Why is family support important? Family is the most important role in a child’s life. When children feel secure and loved, their brains develop quicker. They mature and become more independent. With the support of a family, a child can adjust and function in society with ease and confidence.

How to keep a child interested in books?

  • Expose your child to other readers
  • Bond with your child by reading with them every day
  • Make them read books habitually
  • Go to the library and expose your child to more books
  • Create a storybook that involves your child


Babies, Child development, talk


Casual writer on engaging education topics.

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