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Forum: Day-to-day interaction is essential for children to learn their first language

Lim Guohao

Many people will agree that for children to learn their first language, the importance of day-to-day interaction between adults and children is essential.

It is believed that such interactions have a positive impact on the acquisition of their first language in children as adults can provide appropriate guidance to the young ones on the accurate use of that particular language.

By engaging in talk, children can benefit from the feedback by the speaker. When they have to make themselves clear to their listeners, language learners will be ‘pushed’ to use language.

When learners have to speak in the target language, they will potentially need to pay attention to its structure, especially grammar and word choice.

Feedback must also be present to indicate to the learner that what was said that has not been clearly understood, leading to the need for negotiation of meaning between speakers and listeners.

Nonetheless, early childhood education plays an essential role in shaping the ability to cultivate good language use in the learner’s later part of their lives, and should be treated with utmost attention.