The Importance of Hearing in Language Development

There are many factors that influence the way that your child develops, but without the ability to hear their speech, their language development will suffer greatly. Speech does not only refer to the formation of recognisable words, it refers to the ability to make sound; without hearing this development of sound cannot progress.

As humans we use language as our basic communication tool, it allows us to exchange our ideas and share our emotions with those around us. In order for us to be able to use language we need to have stored the sounds that we need in our memories so that we can remember them and use them as we need. If we have not had the opportunity to store those sounds because we haven’t been able to hear them, our communication options become limited. It is the faculty of hearing that bears the greatest influence on how we learn to read and write, much more that the faculty of sight. A blind child has no difficulty in developing language unlike a hearing impaired child.

Language Development

Most children come into the world listening to the sounds that surround them, even before birth they are soothed by the sound of the mother’s heartbeat in the womb. They start by making what are termed as ‘natural sounds’, these are the precursors to speech. Children learn through copying the sounds that we make. They listen to our voices and try to make the same sounds that we use when we form our words; it is how their language develops. Take away hearing and they are lacking the foundation upon which to build any form of language development.

Learning Through Stimulation

There are things that you can do to encourage language development in your children all based around using the things that they hear as well as see to stimulate the sounds that they make.

  • Early Years Development: Music is a fantastic tool for encouraging your child to take notice of the sounds that surround them. Toys that make a noise after completing an action offer the child a reward when they figure it out. Singing to your child is also something to be encouraged as your voice will change in both tone and pitch. Picture books are also great - pointing to each picture and identifying each object by name.

  • Aged 2-4 Years: Expand on what the page in the story book says, describe what is happening in the pictures, and point objects out to your child. Make your own musical instruments by filling empty bottles with different things such as uncooked pasta or dried peas for example.

  • Aged 4-6 Years: Read stories together, ask your child questions about what they think will happen next. Make sounds together for example singing clapping songs.

  • Aged 6-7 Years: Play memory games, and include sequences and patterns that the child has to remember. Teach them tongue twisters to encourage complex language development. Play rhyming games and see how many words they can find to rhyme together.

  • This post is written for,  the number one website dedicated to offering the best free and impartial advice to people suffering from all stages of hearing loss.


    1. is that K and baby G in the first picture? they look so cute together, and Baby G on the piano! hearing is indeed one of the most wonderful gifts ever given to us.

    2. Love this post with your precious children and illuminating advice. I love the years of discovery with my grands.

    3. bake here again Che from PBH :) learning and discovery is such a wonderful joy

    4. Memory game is one of my kids favorite. My daughter is 8 already but she still likes this kind of stuff.

    5. Great post I found it very interesting, even though my baby is grown up. Baby's fascinate me though, they are so sweet, smart and absorbent!