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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.

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)

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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)

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Teach EYFS Article - Polite

editor

21-04-2018

As part of the How to Speak Child project, I have been collecting interviews with children regarding how adults communicate with them. In each of a series of articles I'm writing for Teach Early Years magazine, I’m focussing on one prominent theme. This article deals with being polite.

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


• How do you like a grown-up to be when they speak to you?

. If they talk to me, I like them to be a bit interesting and a bit nice. That’s how I like it. Polite and kind.             L (male)

By far and away the most recurring request from all the children who have answered my questionnaire is for adults to be ‘polite’ and ‘nice’. Those two words out number all others, with ‘kind’ coming in a close third. The rest are way behind.

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Teach EYFS Article - Shouting

editor

09-12-2017

As part of the How to Speak Child project, I have been collecting interviews with children regarding how adults communicate with them. In each of a series of articles I'm writing for Teach Early Years magazine, I’m focussing on one prominent theme. For the most recent issue, my article deals with the issue of SHOUTING!!

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

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