Language is an extremely important way of interacting with the people around us. We use language to let others know how we feel, what we need, and to ask questions. We can modify our language to each situation. For instance, we talk to our small children with different words and tone than we conduct a business meeting. To communicate effectively, we send a message with words, gestures, or actions, which somebody else receives. Communication is therefore a two-way street, with the recipient of the message playing as important a role as the sender. Therefore, both speaking and listening are important for communication to take place.

Through language we can connect with other people and make sense of our experiences. Imagine what it must be like for your child to develop these skills that we take for granted. As a parent, teacher, or other type of caregiver, you shape a child’s language development to reflect the identity, values, and experiences of your family and community. Therefore, it is up to you to create a warm and comfortable environment in which your child can grow to learn the complexities of language. The communication skills that your child learns early in life will be the foundation for his or her communication abilities for the future. Strong language skills are an asset that will promote a lifetime of effective communication.