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Relate your learning to practice
Try out one of the ideas below for increasing your language input to your focus child, and then answer the reflective questions that follow. You could:
- Practice talking through a routine or process, or
- Practice commentating on children’s play, or
- Practice picking up on and adding language when children ‘serve’.
Try to think about the quantity and the quality of the language you offer. If you have the opportunity to record your conversation with the child (using audio or video), it will make it easier to reflect on the quantity and quality of your language input to the child, and you might also notice the more subtle responses that the child makes. Again, share your video and your reflection with your critical friend and see what they think.
When we think about supporting communication, we must remember that learning to communicate involves so much more than learning to use language. To collaborate with others in ways that enable children to share meanings and understandings requires a whole host of personal, emotional and social skills. Infants and toddlers are learning social and emotional skills alongside language as they learn to be effective communicators.
How do you promote social interactions and language-rich environments in your centre? Share your experiences below.
Take a look at our guide to oral communication development which defines the different purposes and processes of communication, and all the different components of communication that children need to master.
Check out He māpuna te tamaiti, the New Zealand Ministry of Education’s resource on supporting children’s social and emotional competence.