Live session on Magic of Storytelling in Language Development

Vidhi Beri had conducted a Facebook Live session with Kadambari Rana who is an educationist. She completed her B.A (Hons) in Economics from St. Stephen's College, Delhi University and she completed her MSc. Economics from Cardiff University, UK. She has been pursuing her passion for understanding and applying concepts of 'holistic' education since 2010. Currently, she is working on enhancing her understanding of ‘early childhood’ and how it impacts the children’s adult lives. She is also working on her book which will be a compilation of children’s play and learning experiences, where principles of child development and that of the various domains of growth and development will be presented in a simple and enjoyable way for parents and educators.

As the centre of discussion of Episode 6 was Storytelling, this episode spoke volumes about how storytelling and it's various forms can improve a child's motor and sensorial development that has a huge role to play in language development.

Insights of the episode are as magical as the topic. It also proved to be an eye-opener for young parents who constantly struggle when it comes to introducing reading or writing to their children- like when to start, how to start, what to start, will my child be able to understand or grasp what I say and so on.. Well, the key is to let your child explore, let your child imagine, touch, feel, hear the different objects and sounds around him or her. Introduce your child with books like Sound books, touch and feel books and peekaboo books.

In fact, books are not only the form of storytelling but there are other forms too like music, dance, art and the most loved one is the stories that are narrated to us by our "nanis and daadis".

So what exactly a young child can understand?

"A young child can understand a lot of verbal language, face and body expressions, body language, tone and pitch of the voice in which they are spoken to"

So what exactly books are rich in?

"Books are very rich in picture illustrations, bold and bright text, simple and crisp language, it has the power to let a child imagine scenarios and helps in understanding the sequence of events"

What exactly is the age to introduce writing to a child?

"So the exact order of language development is listening, speech, reading and then comes writing. Early childhood years must always be about observing, exploring, listening, speaking. Pre-reading should always start at 5+ and writing comes much after around age of 6 when the child has developed some motor skills to hold a pencil"

What are phonics?

"Phonics have become a very popular study for parents and young mothers. Phonics are the sound of letters. It helps to understand the letter and it's corresponding letter. But, interestingly it is not the only form of language, we even have forms like semantic, syntax, prosody and so on"

Should children be introduced to other languages?

"It is fantastic for a child to be bilingual or rather multi-lingual but at the same time listening and speaking must come first, reading and writing later. Always take the cue from the child while introducing reading and writing as the rules of each language is different."

When exactly we should start storytelling?

"The power of narrative unfolds since the child is inside the mother's protective womb. As our elders and doctors say, a child can recognise all the voices that he or she hears inside the womb. We can even start showing flashcards to a child who is just a few days old."

Tips and tricks to take from the session : always respond to all the questions your child asks you, never fear the complexity of the sentences, always use full and grammatically correct sentences, use more words and keep adding new words while speaking to a child, create the magic with stories by inacting them with props, have a rich language atmosphere at home, encourage your child to speak even if they are wrong, never pressurize a child to read or write, always motivate them and be a super role model to your child.

To know about a detailed summary on all the above topics, watch the LIVE episode in case you missed it and unravel not only the magic of storytelling but also the steps to introduce language to your child.