Blog

Talk in Play

editor

25-05-2018

It’s impossible for us to understand - or to be more accurate, to remember - what it’s like for a baby or toddler trying to get to grips with conversation. Even if we decide to learn another tongue, we at least know what language is, we grasp the concept; our little ones are starting entirely from scratch. So how can we help them?

Most importantly, we can integrate speech into every aspect of our interaction with our very young children.

Talk about what is happening as it happens, “The foot goes into the sock” for example, and whilst playing with them, do your thinking aloud, “I wonder if this brick will balance on the tower, or will it make it fall over?”

If your child is beginning to identify objects with words, in addition to acknowledging when they are right, you can add to what they have said.

“Ball.”

“Yes, it’s a yellow ball.”

Even before they are able to talk, you can model the patterns of conversation through non-verbal communication. Turn taking, eye contact, agreement, acknowledgement, mirroring and body language are all important aspects of how we interact with each other, and these must be learned too. Sure, we pick up a lot of these conventions just through observing one another, but if you’re aware of reinforcing the patterns of conversation during physical play with your child, then they should grasp them all the more easily.

And whilst we’re on the subject of observation, pay attention to the way that your child or children interact with others. Encourage peer collaboration, give some narration on what is happening, describe what you see to the children involved.

The more your children are exposed to language, the less intimidating it will be for them. In this day and age, so much of our communication takes place via screens and the written word, it’s vital that we take time and make the effort to help our children feel comfortable with the verbal spontaneous self-expression that is face to face conversation.

What a Performance!

editor

19-05-2018

This article, discussing the value of incorporating performance into senior school, first appeared in Teach Secondary magazine.

My thanks to editor Helen Mulley for allowing reproduction, and if you want to know more, details of this and their other magazines and resources are available at:https://www.teachwire.net

What a Performance!

It’s a curious dichotomy we live with when it comes to the notion of performance, I think. On the one hand it feels like every other young person you come across is all set to win the X Factor and become the next big thing, and on the other hand we’re brought up being told that no-one really likes a show off. . . talk about mixed messages. . . where does this leave us with our attitude to performing within our school environment?

Read more

Scaredy Cat!

editor

12-05-2018

So what are you scared of? Do you want your children to be frightened of that thing too?


In evolutionary terms, we can understand the benefits of learning from our parents which creatures to avoid or run away from, and this holds true even nowadays when it comes to stroking lions or using crocodiles as stepping stones. Most of us, however, live in a world that is mostly un-fraught with danger and where we have to be afraid, it is primarily of each other. But we are still passing on our own fears to our children.

Read more

Teach EYFS Article - Listen

editor

05-05-2018

Here is the third and last in this series of articles based on conversations with children, and first published in Teach Early Years magazine. In each piece, I focussed on one prominent theme. For this one, it’s LISTEN!

My thanks to editor Jacob Stow for allowing reproduction, and if you want to know more, details of this and their other magazines and resources are available at: https://www.teachwire.net



  • What does it feel like to be a child?
  • I feel like I’m just an ant in the world, some people don’t listen to me that well. Like nothing that I’m saying is important.          W (male)

Read more

Teach EYFS Article - Distractions

editor

28-04-2018

Here is the second in this series of articles based on conversations with children, and first published in Teach Early Years magazine. In each piece, I’ll focus on one prominent theme. For this one, it’s DISTRACTIONS!

My thanks to editor Jacob Stow for allowing reproduction, and if you want to know more, details of this and their other magazines and resources are available at: https://www.teachwire.net


  • • What lesson would you like grown-ups to learn about how to talk to children?
  • “Not to get lost in looking at their phones and then five minutes later say, ‘What?’"         G (female)

Read more