Let's start out by reminding ourselves that everyone has an accent and it is also normal for those that are bilingual to present a variation in their accent. So what happens if your child starts to speak with an accent that is not one you recognise or is linked to their heritage? Is intervention necessary?
Ways kids develop language
It is very common for children to pick up accents from television shows they watch, movies and even other kids they mix with at play groups or child care. Acquiring the accent of a peer can start quite innocently and quickly. In fact adults can do just the same.
Is it normal language development?
For the most part, the path a child takes to figure out how to speak can differ significantly from the next person and any accent that may be attached is most likely simply a product of age, their own process of learning to pronounce syllables and a dash of experimentation added in for good luck. If your child is still young, wait it out. There is a very good chance that they will grow out of it once they reach school and are given more formal, structured training by the teachers.
Focus on reading with your child
There are a few things parents can do too, to help a child with pronunciation. Making a dedicated time to read together is a fantastic way to correct inaccuracies, improve their word knowledge and by reading to them, they will learn to mimic your speech.
Does your child seem distressed by it?
For some children, their accent is only noticeable to others who may struggle to comprehend what is being said. In this situation the child may find the whole exercise of speaking quite stressful especially if they are being singled out at school or have to repeat themselves over and over. Situations such as this can negatively affect their self esteem so are worth seeking a second opinion on.
When in doubt, seek professional advice
As parents we have an ability to know when things are just not right. If you are concerned, don't hesitate to contact a speech therapist. Working closely with your child, they can greatly improve their ability to pronounce sounds that they find tricky and teach them the right tongue position to ensure their speech is not impeded. A unique training program will be prepared once a thorough assessment is undertaken.
Shared by speech-therapy.com.au