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When, if ever, is it appropriate to correct dc's speech?

(5 Posts)
lecce Mon 11-Jul-11 14:02:54

My ds (4.5) spoke very clearly and in complete sentences relatively early and he has a fantastic vocabulary. However, when he got to 3 (ish) he began to over-generalise many irregualr, past-tense verbs that he had previously known, eg 'went' suddenly became 'goed' etc. I thought that this was a normal phase that indicated that he had picked up on the 'rule', such as it is, and did not ever consider correcting him. I would usually repeat the sentence, or add to it in some way myself with a correct version of the verb in it but I didn't do this in a critical way and never got him to repeat the correct version or anything like that.

However, recently I have become aware that he seems to be doing it more and is showing no signs of stopping and I just wondered if gentle correction was appropriate now or not.

Similarly, I have noticed that he appears to be inventing quite complex words as part of his play - they sound similar to real words but are nonsense. Eg he will say, "I'll get my tea-set out so my toys can espondualte their food," or something - it sounds a bit like he is trying to copy real words he is vaguely aware of to make his game real - does that seem possible? Should I be trying to work out what he means? Do other dc do this? I am sure they do - just wanted to hear other's experiences.

I'm sure I am over-thinking this terribly blushbut I just want some reassurance that I am right not to correct him in these instances.

Oakmaiden Mon 11-Jul-11 17:01:55

I think he sounds like a bright little boy who is experimenting with language. I really truly wouldn't worry about it. It sounds very normal, and he will gradually realise that there are some words which the general "rules" don't apply to. Be reassured - no correction needed - he will be able to work it out himself!

Parietal Mon 11-Jul-11 20:27:41

Developmental psychologists have long debates about why kids overgeneralise verbs and other irregulars. Most kids do (some more than others) and they grow out of it. Giving lots for examples of the correct verb is exactly the right thing to do.

fluffycauliflower Mon 11-Jul-11 21:59:30

I think it's best not to pay much attention to it, just model good speech to him, you would be surpressing his creativity and criticising him. He sounds like he is really bright to me. My youngest has always been really creative with her language, and she just got a really high mark in her year 3 end of year english tests.

Tgger Mon 11-Jul-11 22:20:29

My DS is the same age. I don't correct him directly, but I do repeat back to him the correct version of what he's said if it's something obvious like "went" instead of "goed". Sometimes he then repeats it back correctly.

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