As adults, we rely on communication in order to get through our daily lives. While children may not have the same developed skills as we do, it is important that they still receive the same, if not more, opportunities for communication that we have as adults. This is why communication in the classroom is so important. As many have learned by looking at and using the new ECERS-3 (the assessment tool for classrooms with children aged 3-5 used by ExceleRate) communication is the key ingredient to a quality classroom. Below are some tips to help you incorporate even more language into your interactions with the children in your care!
- Get down on the child’s level.
- Talk about what the child is doing, what the child is looking at, or what the child is interested in.
- Ask questions that relate to the child’s experiences or interests.
- Add words or questions to what the child says or does and model new language
- Give the child enough time to respond. For children who do not have much language yet, this may be a nonverbal response, like a gesture or a look.
- Stay tuned in to the child’s facial and body expressions to make sure they are engaged.
- Encourage back and forth conversations
- Extend children’s language by adding to what they have said, For example a child points and says, “Truck!” You say, “Yes! That big blue truck just drove by!”
- Select materials that expand children’s vocabulary, such as toy vehicle sets (e.g. ambulance, helicopter), people figurines (e.g. astronauts, pediatricians), and everyday materials in dramatic play (e.g. colander, stethoscope).
These are simple and easy ways to help not only increase the language development of the children in your care, but you may also find that the atmosphere in your program to be less chaotic as you are giving the children words to express themselves and to describe the world around them.
Tips retrieved from: https://www2.ed.gov/documents/early-learning/talk-read-sing/preschool-en.pdf
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