Adult talk can greatly influence the environment and how children with speech, language or communication needs can access it. Children require time to process and understand information spoken to them and giving them this time is vital. Adults can adapt their level of language and their use of talk and this will therefore enhance the children’s learning development and also their communication skills. We as child care practitioners are able to greater develop their communication needs. As adults there are numerous ways of speaking and communicating to children and below i will explain some of the ways:
The main area of speaking and communicating with children would be to focus on what the child is looking at or doing at that particular time there and then. Following their lead and allowing them to be in a specific area will later on build trust and also a comfortable environment for the children to be part of.
Encourage them to talk about their own specific interests and valuing their efforts of communicating. This will therefore build relationships with the children and improve their self-confidence.
Getting down to the child’s level will enhance communication as it is more easier talking face to face as you can read the child’s lips if not able to make out what there trying to say not only that but also using the correct eye contact can help the chid to feel more settled talking to an adult. Taking turns in communicating is also a big factor as both parties need to focus on turn taking, this can therefore be used to give the child the specific and correct amount of time to take all the information in that is being said to them.
Allowing the children choice is one of the best forms of communication as it allows children to freely communicate and engage with their peers and other adults within the room. When allowing this we as child care practitioners need to ensure that the child is using their words and not pointing at the area where they would like to go to. Using questions such as “What activity would you like to take part in today? Would you like to play in the Construction area? sand area?” will encourage children to feel comfortable in responding with 1-2 word answers and then building on this to longer answers when required.
Children enjoy working in small groups which will then encourage them to listen to each other which will enhance their concentration and attention skills. As a child care practitioner we need to follow up on what we are speaking to the children for example using picture cues to go along with our spoken words will allow the children to understand more better what is asked of them. this will lead to the child not being frustrated as they wouldn’t need to ask questions about what they need to do etc. all the time when maybe this may be the problem as they can’t communicate appropriately.
When working with children we need to ensure that we treat them all as individuals and change our communication techniques to support their needs. Children who are comfortable communicating with either one person or several people within the room will develop more self-control and better behaviour, emotional development and enhance their social skills.
Being a childcare practitioner some questions we need to ask ourselves in our day to day routines would be “is the terminology I’m using to talk to these children correct?” “Can we enhance their learning using different techniques?” “do we use the same open ended questions to pre-schoolers as well as the after school children?”
When working with children of any age the best and most important way to speak to them is by giving them praise when deserved and also by giving them the positive attitude which is deserved at all times.