Communication and Language
Communication and Language
The development of children’s spoken language underpins all seven areas of learning and development. Children’s back-and-forth interactions from an early age form the foundations for language and cognitive development. The number and quality of the conversations they have with adults and peers throughout the day in a language-rich environment is crucial. By commenting on what children are interested in or doing, and echoing back what they say with new vocabulary added, practitioners will build children’s language effectively.
Reading frequently to children, and engaging them actively in stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems, and then providing them with extensive opportunities to use and embed new words in a range of contexts, will give children the opportunity to thrive. Through conversation, storytelling and role play, where children share their ideas with support and modelling from their teacher, and sensitive questioning that invites them to elaborate, children become comfortable using a rich range of vocabulary and language structures.
3 and 4-year-olds will be learning to:
- Enjoy listening to longer stories and can remember much of what happens.
- Pay attention to more than one thing at a time, which can be difficult.
- Use a wider range of vocabulary.
- Understand a question or instruction that has two parts, such as: “Get your coat and wait at the door”.
- Understand ‘why’ questions, like: “Why do you think the caterpillar got so fat?”
- Sing a large repertoire of songs.
- Know many rhymes, be able to talk about familiar books, and be able to tell a long story.
- Develop their communication but may continue to have problems with irregular tenses and plurals, such as ‘runned’ for ‘ran’, ‘swimmed’ for ‘swam’.
- Develop their pronunciation but may have problems saying: some sounds: r, j, th, ch, and sh, multi-syllabic words such as ‘pterodactyl’, ‘planetarium’ or ‘hippopotamus’.
- Use longer sentences of four to six words.
- Be able to express a point of view and to debate when they disagree with an adult or a friend, using words as well as actions.
- Start a conversation with an adult or a friend and continue it for many turns.
- Use talk to organise themselves and their play: “Let’s go on a bus... you sit there... I’ll be the driver.”
Children in reception will be learning to:
- Understand how to listen carefully and why listening is important.
- Learn new vocabulary.
- Use new vocabulary through the day.
- Ask questions to find out more and to check they understand what has been said to them.
- Articulate their ideas and thoughts in well-formed sentences.
- Connect one idea or action to another using a range of connectives.
- Describe events in some detail.
- Use talk to help work out problems and organise thinking and activities, and to explain how things work and why they might happen.
- Develop social phrases.
- Engage in storytimes.
- Listen to and talk about stories to build familiarity and understanding.
- Retell the story, once they have developed a deep familiarity with the text, some as exact repetition and some in their own words.
- Use new vocabulary in different contexts.
- Listen carefully to rhymes and songs, paying attention to how they sound.
- Learn rhymes, poems and songs.
- Engage in non-fiction books.
- Listen to and talk about selected non-fiction to develop a deep familiarity with new knowledge and vocabulary.