I recently attended a training for my ALIMKids program and one of the speakers was a child development and linguist specialist. Something like that. She mainly works with kids with special needs and masyaAllah.. she is amazing. And the things that we gained from her about child development were of tremendous value. I definitely recommend people to attend Dr Norizan's training (if there were any, I think Ummikusayang will organise one, one day) and you'd gain so much in understanding the development of your child and how you can enhance it further.
Anyway. I've always talked to Azalia. Ever since she was a baby I would talk to her. I would put her on my lap and just talk to her. Being very talkative myself, it was just natural for me to talk about everything that I do. I would describe things, explain to her why I do something etc. Even when we go out, I would just talk to her (because she would be in her stroller) about what's in front of us, what I would do next, where I would go etc. There are times when I get weird looks from strangers for what seem to be talking to myself but.. i just didn't care.
What I learned from Dr. Norizan, was that all this talking that I'm doing, was actually very good for her. I didn't realise it at the time. It was just something that I do with her. Apparently by explaining and describing everything, it enhances her vocabulary and made it easier for her to talk. No wonder she doesn't baby talk that much. When she first started talking, she was trying out real words. Pelat of course (kalau tak pelat terkejut mak hokay!!) but it was words that we could understand and not baby talk. Sure my father did baby talk with her. He has his own language with children. He did it with us too. But in Azalia's case it wasn't only me who talked to Azalia, but her nanny was also very talkative too, both of us would describe what we're doing when we give her a bath, feed her, etc.
Exposing her with English has also helped her in picking up the language really fast. By exposing I mean playhouse disney channel. hehehe. ok I'm not saying you should let your child watch a lot of tv. If you disapprove of tv(there are cons to it) than expose the language to her via other means, like you speaking it, or reading to her. We also read to her and sometimes we would talk to her in english. But since it's not our first language our main conversation is in Malay. But now that she has started school, and most of her teachers are non-malays, she naturally speaks in english, her grammars are quite good (a bit off here and there but I blame myself for that because I talk manglish with her..hehe). I guess by exposing the language to her at an early age it wasn't a problem for her to speak and understand the language.
Right now I'm thinking of exposing her to Mandarin. I wanted to enroll her in Mandarin class in school, but she's still adjusting so I might delay her enrolment. But I've always wanted to learn mandarin(I went to chinese speaking tadika but it stopped there), so I want her to try it out too. Maybe we could do it together!!!.. that would be fun.
Anyway... talking to your child definitely helps. No wonder those who are a bit on the quiet side, their children are also quiet and might take longer to talk (although this is NOT a big problem if it's still within their development time frame, kids develop differently so you can't really compare between the two).But no wonder mine talks non-stop. It's a bit tiring answering all her questions but she continues to amaze me.