Communication & Language Development

Communication and Language Development (CL) for Toddlers

All of us are social beings and are ready for communicating right from birth. The skills that children develop over time are vital for them when they reach school age. By reading body language along with good listening skills children become more receptive to others and develop essential skills ready for reading and writing.

Communication and Language is broken down into three aspects:

  • Listening and attention
  • Understanding
  • Speaking

Listening and Attention

This aspect involves children listening to different noises made by adults when singing songs or story reading, being interested in them and repeating them. It also looks at how children recognise and respond to familiar sounds such as looking for a ringing phone when they hear the noise or turning to look at the door when they hear a knock. This is children understanding what noises and sounds mean in context. Children start to develop an interest in sounds and how they can make different sounds and noises but also start to be interested in play with songs and rhymes.

Understanding

This area recognises children’s understanding of the words they have developed and learnt since birth. Children develop an understanding of complex sentences and are beginning to follow simple instructions in order to get the outcome they desire for example, “put those dressing up clothes away, then we can get the puzzles out”. Children are able to identify action words by using pictures and flash cards as well as understand and use simple questions such as who, what and where. Children are encouraged to identify simple concepts such as tall and small during their play.

Speaking

This aspect enables children to learn words rapidly by hearing them from others through play and activities and being able to use them in the correct context in their own vocabulary when communicating. Whilst learning new words children will use gestures, such as pointing with words to ensure their understanding is correct and portrayed properly. Developing knowledge of word endings enables children to use the singular or plural words in speech and also assists them when it comes to writing words in later stages. Children use speaking as a way of communicating their likes, wants, needs and interests with others, creating new friendships and sharing experiences as well as holding conversations moving from topic to topic.

At Toybox we encourage repetition, rhythm and rhyme by reciting stories, poems and rhymes from books enabling children to play with different sounds. We constantly talk to children to reinforce the importance of speech but also to allow them to learn new vocabulary on a daily basis. Opportunity for children to talk in groups is provided so they can talk about what they see, hear, think and feel. Practitioners follow children’s talk so the topic relates to their interests and likes as well as adding words to children’s speech to create full sentences for them to learn from.

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