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Communication is a process which can begin even before a child is born. It involves the individual interacting with self, others and the environment. To get the most out of their development babies and young children need to feel active and valued in their role as a communicator from the beginning. They need to recognise the role of communication in our society and from birth they need many and varied opportunities for positive interaction, and responses to their attempts to express themselves.
Communication, Language and Literacy teaches us all how to make sense of all the world around us, and for a child developing the ability to speak, to listen, to read and to write in order to solve problems is challenging. Communication, Language and Literacy helps a child to understand relationships, to hear words and sentences.
Communication, Language and Literacy is an influential means of communication. It can be used to provide the means by which we can pass on thoughts, information, and ideas and how they can be presented by the use of reading, writing, listening and speaking.
Through their growing knowledge and understanding, children can learn to appreciate the contribution made by many cultures to the development and application of communication, language and literacy. Appreciating Communication, Language and Literacy and its principles can also be expressed in art, literature, music and technology adds another dimension to interpreting the world in which we live.
The first three years of life are a time when important connections are being made within a child's brain and are therefore a critical period in the development of language.
There are two main frameworks for development of communication, language and literacy for children. These are the EYFS and the National Literacy Strategy. They cover from birth to 5 years of age as part of the EYFS system and 5 to 18 years of age which use the National Literacy Strategy.
Children learn different communication, language and literacy skills through a structure of literacy framework that are related to development.
As part of our strategy to raise pupil attainment, many schools use the 'National Literacy Strategy.
It is used as a basis for planning teaching and to fulfill the requirements of the National Literacy Strategy for Communication, language and literacy. This ensures continuity and progression throughout the school.
Children's progress is assessed regularly by class teachers. Pupils are assessed in terms of communication, language and literacy development as they enter and exit from the Foundation Stage. Children in KS1 and 2 are assessed at the end of each year and in terms 2, 4 and 6 and at the end of Key Stage by standard assessment tests and teacher assessment.
Teachers have a thorough understanding of National Literacy Strategy communication, language and literacy and the Communication, language and literacy Development Early Learning Goals and use a variety of teaching methods.
There are four aspects of speaking and listening in the National Curriculum programme of study for English:
1. Speaking: to speak competently and creatively to explore, develop and sustain ideas through talk.
2. Listening and responding: to understand, recall and respond to speakers' implicit and explicit meanings; to explain and comment on speakers' use of language, including vocabulary, grammar and non verbal features.
3. Group discussion and interaction: to take different roles in groups to develop thinking and complete tasks; participate in conversations, making appropriate contributions building on others' suggestions and responses.
4. Drama: Using dramatic techniques, including work in role to explore ideas and texts; create, share and evaluate ideas and understanding through drama.
Every Child Matters is used in all curriculum areas, and especially in the core subjects, and are continually and consistently teaching the 'values' embedded in 'Every Child Matters' system. The process tries to make children to enjoy communication, language and literacy and be enthusiastic about the learning it .
Much of the teaching needs to be aimed at developing children's skills for life and the children themselves need to understand the 'real life' purpose of everything that they learn to do and how this can enable them to make a positive contribution to society in the future and achieve personal well-being.
As mentioned above the Primary Framework for Communication, language and literacy learning has a number of strands. These are:
Speaking and listening
Listening and responding
Reading and writing
Word structure and spelling
Understanding and interpreting texts
Engaging and responding to text
Creating and shaping texts
Text structure and organisation
Sentence structure and punctuation
(Tassoni pg 540)
There are number of other types of communication and these include:-
This is you are able to express needs and feelings non-verbally. For example through facial expression, eye-gaze, body movements, gestures and actions making sounds etc. For deaf and mute children there is sign language - communicating through the use of your hands.
Language for Communication is about how children become communicators.
Learning to listen and speak emerges out of non-verbal eye contact, and hand gesture. These skills develop as children interact with others, listen to and use language, extend their vocabulary and experience stories, songs, poems and rhymes.
Language for Thinking is about how children learn to use language to imagine and recreate roles and experiences and how they use talk to clarify their thinking and ideas or to refer to events they have observed or are curious about.
Linking Sounds and Letters is about how children develop the ability to distinguish between sounds and become familiar with rhyme, rhythm and alliteration. They develop understanding of the correspondence between spoken and written sounds and learn to link sounds and letters and use their knowledge to read and write simple words by sounding out and blending.
To become good communicators, children need to be with people who they have good and loving relationships, such as their parent, family, friends and carers, people they know and trust.
Babies react differently to varying sounds and from a very early age can tell apart sound patterns, especially their mothers. They use their voices to make contact and to let people know what they need and how they are feeling.
All children find out through play and experiences that connect with all the senses. Such as music, dance, rhymes and songs support language development.
As children develop speaking and listening skills they build the foundations for literacy, for making sense of visual and verbal signs and ultimately for reading and writing.
Language is a vital part in learning, and plays a major role in nurseries and schools and even at home.
Speaking and listening is used as a tool to support writing and reading,
E3 and C1
Speaking -In developing their speaking skills, children need to learn to adapt their talk to the listeners; use a range of ways to express themselves; use talk to clarify their ideas and sustain their talk to develop thinking and reasoning. Speaking should include putting thoughts into words and sharing in groups; taking opportunities to speak at some length to explain ideas in different situations; giving a talk or presentation using gestures, aids and rhetorical devices.
It is essential that children are provided with planned opportunities for speaking in a range of contexts, including: to different audiences, such as class, the teacher and other adults; with different levels of formality such as with peers, to another class, a whole-school assembly and for different purposes, such as recounting events and telling stories, explaining, describing, justifying views and persuading others. Furthermore, children need to be taught how to make more extended contributions, such as expanding ideas using connectives; making connections between reasoning and predicting; using language to organise and sequence ideas.
Listening -As teachers, we should encourage active, responsive listening skills. To help this, teachers or practitioners should present things clearly with prompts to support listening - use of voice; emphasis on key words and sometimes speaking quietly. Teachers are the best models of language in use and should model gesture, volume and tone. When we model speaking and listening we should demonstrate and discuss the process. To do this effectively model and encourage the children to make eye contact with the listener; speak clearly and audibly; use facial expressions and gestures; use precise words to convey meaning and hold the attention of the audience and respond to others' contributions by adding or elaborating on them or by expressing an alternative point of view. Children need to be provided with models of appropriate use of English across the whole curriculum.
Learning outcomes in Communication, Language and Literacy are statements that put across what the teacher/practitioner wants the children to gain from each lesson. Before teachers / practitioners decide what to teach in a lesson, they must consult their federal education authority. In some schools, teachers must also bring into line their learning outcomes with standards for the school's curriculum scope and sequence.
The ECC aims to improve numeracy for children with the greatest difficulties in communication, language and literacy. And it will enable them to achieve nationally expected attainment levels by the time they are seven.
The development of a national infrastructure is capable of providing ongoing professional development, quality assurance and data collection for the intervention.
Examples of learning outcomes include
In the UK, the activities that are planned for babies and children follow the curriculum guidelines of the Early Years Foundation Stage (2008). The children have general outcomes that they are expected to meet by the age of five, when they start formal schooling. The general outcomes are in six main curriculum areas:
Knowledge and understanding of the world
Personal, social and emotional development
Language and literacy
There are a number of strategies that support the development of communication language and literacy skills. A number are shown below.
Stimuli, games and puppets
This can be used in various uses which stimulate. A good example is a poem, or photograph, a painting or a piece of music which encourages the children to talk about it. You can give children a subject to talk about and ask them to speak without hesitation or repetition for one minute. You can turn it into a game for example when other children can challenge when the rules are broken and if the challenge is successful the challenger continues the topic to the end of the minute unless challenged.
You can use puppets to support talk. They can be used to encourage talk in a various different ways, for example to recount, explain, instruct and inform.
Provide children with something to listen too as a task. Listen to a news which helps them to focus on what they can hear by giving key words to help them listen steadily;
You can extend children's understanding of drama by using the convention of teacher in role. Teachers / practitioners should demonstrate voice change, gesture and facial expression.
You can set goals with clear plan for success and praise responses. Make it clear what is expected of the children in the activity by telling them the rules for judging achievement and improvement and helping them to review their own progress.
Mixed groups and group work
Ability groups are useful if work is pitched at the appropriate level of challenge whereas structured mixed ability groups ensure a range of views and are suitable for tasks which require diversity. Same language groups can be advantageous to children learning English as an additional language if appropriate to the task.
Appoint roles to group members - a leader/chair can organise the group and encourage participation; a scribe can be used to note the key points; a reporter can sum up and present ideas to an audience; a mentor can be used to help group members to complete a task, offering support and clarification; an observer could be used to make notes on how the group works and note contributions. The observations should be shared with the group to help make improvements in future performances.
Children are given daily opportunities to practice and learn... They are encouraged to try different methods by praise from the teacher and from one another. Questioning skills are used to good effect to help provide differentiation and to allow all children to be included. Written tasks are also differentiated within a common theme.
There is interactive teaching where the children are encouraged to talk about how they read and write. In this area, children are given many chances to answer questions and to talk about how they got to the answers. Children are asked to comment on and possibly use different methods.
The children also experience a variety of recording methods such as Oral, Pictorial, graphical, symbolic, diagrammatic, models and Written.
Children learn skills which help them to recognize and explain shapes, sizes, directions, positions and also movement.
Planning always takes account of the diverse and changing needs of the children. Planning occurs at three linked levels: long, medium and short term.
Long term planning is taken from the Framework which outlines the yearly teaching programmes and key objectives from Reception to Year six.
Medium term plans outline the termly units of work and the main teaching objectives and when you will teach them.
Short term plans are weekly notes on how each lesson will be taught, detailing objectives, tasks, activities and groupings of children for the three main parts of the lesson.
Teachers and practitioners should be adaptable in their planning to meet the needs of the children in the class, and should use objectives from other year groups for children who are less able or to challenge more able children.
Pupil progress should also be recorded and Teacher Assessments collected twice a year.
For example, a Communication, language and literacy Coordinator analyses SATs results from KS1 and KS2 (and plans targets in literacy to address any weaknesses found in the child's development). Staff will report in writing to parents annually on pupil progress in Communication, language and literacy. Homework is set weekly in KS2. For more detail see the Homework Policy.
When children are actively involved in learning they gain a sense of fulfilment. It is important that adults working with children also have a positive attitude to Communication, Language and Literacy and that they are confident to play with communication, language and literacy concepts in a practical manner.
E6 & B1
Parents are children's first educators and are highly valued in the contribution that they make.
The role that parents have played,
before children starts in a school, the school should talk to parents about their child;
children should have the chance to spend time with the teacher before starting at a nursery school by having "Induction Session".
Giving parents regular opportunities to talk about their child's progress
Giving free access to their children's "Learning Journey" record books.
Encouraging parents to talk to their child's teachers about any concerns they may have.
Have 2 formal meetings per year (autumn and summer term) with parents to discuss the child's progress and development.
Parents have a great part to play in a childs development of communication, language and literacy. Teaching them to learn to read and write. Teaching is not just for nurseries or schools, it should also be at home with the children.
Schools and nurseries or carers should work in partnerships with parents to make sure the child is getting a rounded education and a chance to communicate through reading and writing.
Ideas should be shared with all parties
The following are a list of ideas that can be shared.
Homework and parental involvement
Parents should be given a leaflet at the start of each year, and this should outline the main objectives. This should give parents the opportunity to ask questions and also help them to understand ways in which they can help children at home. Numeracy workshops can be arranged for parents in response to questionnaires, which form part of our School Self Evaluation.
Homework in communication, language and literacy should be enjoyed by parents and children. It aims to support learning in school. Parents will continue to be consulted as part of the review process.
All staff who are involved with EYFS should aim to develop good relationships with children and interact with them and take time to listen to the children.
Parents can help children develop the skills of communication by:
Ensuring that babies have on-going opportunities for positive face to face interaction.
Allowing babies to take the lead in communication and responding appropriately, positively and genuinely.
Modelling turn taking through timing, body language and expression.
Allowing time for a baby or child to respond to adult or other children's interaction, thereby demonstrating that the child's active role in communication is valued.
Ensuring that non-mobile babies have opportunities to lie and/or sit alongside other babies. To enable them to observe each other, interact and visually explore early communications.
Accepting all attempts at communication.
Observing and responding to the child with appropriate running commentary e.g. "Thank you for the brick you gave me" "What a lovely smile" "You are going up the slideâ€¦ downâ€¦".
Ensuring children have a variety of opportunities to listen to language and patterns of sound e.g. through running commentary, stories, songs, music etc.
Involving the child through verbal and non verbal language when carrying out all activities.
Ensuring body language, facial expression and tone of voice all support adult spoken words.
Providing opportunities for interactive games and rhymes - "round and round the garden"; "pat a cake"; "this little piggy" - and encouraging turn taking between adult and child in these activities.
Adapting your language level to the language level of the child e.g. use single word phrases etcâ€¦
Observing, identifying and recording the verbal and non verbal interactions between babies and children and providing opportunities to encourage the development of these.
Observing and encouraging babies and children's use of mirrors for self exploration of facial expression and gesture.
Observing and identifying developing friendship groups between babies and children.
Monitoring when, how, why and with whom language is used.
Adults will damage children's emergent communication if they:
Ignore and avoid interacting with the child.
Feed or change without interaction.
Prevent the child from communicating freely and having fun with language.
Inhibit the child's use of language by negative non verbal and verbal responses e.g. ignoring or not responding to their attempts at communicating, or over critical correction of their sentence structure etc.
Some children find it easier then other when learning to read and write, when to talk and communicate. It must be remembered that all children are different. But many children have barriers that may affect their ability to learn.
Lack of motivation - this is very important in learning everything we do. Learning to read and write is a very long process and it needs a lot of patience and practice.
Many times, children cant be bothered and you have to find ways to encourage them to learn. Make it enjoyable, not a chore.
There are many ways to motivate children such as:-
Books in the home
Painting and drawing
Visits to the library
Language Use -
Before children cant start to read and write until they should be fluent enough in the language they are using. Good language is essential in learning how to write. It may sound silly but children cannot read or write about a word or use a word if they don't use it already.
This is a condition that affects many people not just children and affect their ability to read or write. Words, numbers, sentences get jumbled up and have difficulties recognizing symbols
There are others factors that impact on a childs ability to communicate such as learning difficulty, speech dysfluency (cannot say the words), confidence and maybe the language they are using is a second language.
When teaching EAL children, we need to ensure that children have time to think before they respond to questions and that, in particular, and that children have rehearsal time and try to encourage more than one word answers. It might be useful to spend time with children learning key words and helping them understand concepts needed for the topic or theme being talked about. At times it can be useful to encourage children to use their home language, for example when organising initial ideas.
Nurseries or placement settings should aim to make sure that all children have access to a full range of communication, language and literacy learning experiences and it should be the placements policy to recognize and provide for those children with specific needs, both those who find communication, language and literacy concepts difficult and those who are good at math's.
Nurseries can analyze ability data by gender and also identify any other groups of pupils at risk of underachievement and then possibly agreeing possible action to address any weaknesses. Recognizing diversity is about recognizing that children can come from lots of different backgrounds and family structures and this could be from the language they speak, culture and beliefs.
Diversity means responding in a positive manner to differences, valuing all people.
All children are citizens and have rights and entitlements.
Children should be treated fairly regardless of race, religion or abilities. This applies no matter:
what they think or say
what type of family they come from
what language(s) they speak
what their parents do
whether they are girls or boys
whether they have a disability or whether they are rich or poor.
All children have an equal right to be listened to and valued in the setting.
Improving the physical environment - physical aids to access education such as ICT equipment and portable aids for children with motor co-ordination and poor hand/eye skills. New buildings should be physically accessible to disabled pupils and will involve improving access to existing buildings including ramps, wider doors, low sinks, etc
Improving the delivery of information to disabled children at nurseries or schools - The information should take account of pupils' disabilities and parents' preferred formats and be made available
All children should be treated in the same way regardless of race, religion or abilities. No matter what they think or say, what type of family they come from, what language(s) they speak, what their parents do, whether they are girls or boys or whether they have a disability or whether they are rich or poor.
All children have an equal right to be listened to and valued in the setting and all children have a need to develop, which is helped by exploring and discovering the people and things around them.
Some children's development may be at risk, for example children who are disabled and those with special educational needs , those from socially excluded families, such as the homeless or those who live with a parent who is disabled or has a mental illness, children from traveller communities, refugees or asylum seekers and those from diverse linguistic backgrounds.
All children are entitled to enjoy a full life in conditions which will help them take part in society and develop as an individual, with their own cultural and spiritual beliefs. Practitioners ensure that their own knowledge about different cultural groups is up-to-date and consider their own attitudes to people who are different from themselves.
In the UK, children are being raised in a society with many sources of enriching diversity. Good early years practice needs to sustain this from the earliest months of babyhood. Practitioners need to work to create a encouraging learning environment. Play materials, books and other resources can be on hand in a helpful way by reflecting on how young children learn about culture and cultural uniqueness.
Diversity and inclusion is also linked to legislation such the Childrens Act 1989, SEN act 2001, Rights of Children 1989 and the Race Relations Act 1976. Also included is the Disability Act 2004.
Children like experiencing food, music or dance forms that reflect their own family and neighbourhood experiences. Early childhood is a good time to offer opportunities that enable children to stretch beyond the familiar. Children can learn to appreciate cultural diversity in styles of art, craft, music and dance. All opportunities need to be well grounded in positive pride for the styles common in every child's own background.
Child Care and Education - Tassoni. P. (2007). Heinemann (Harcourt Education Limited). Oxford , England
Child Development - Meggitt. C. (2006). Heinemann (Pearson Education Limited). Harlow, England
Department of education and Skills (DFES) 2007 -
Early Childhood Studies, Willan, Parker-Rees, Savage: (2004) :Learning Matters ltd