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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.

English as an additional language

Speaking more than one language has lots of advantages for children. It is the norm in many countries around the world. Children will learn English from a strong foundation in their home language. It is important for you to encourage families to use their home language for linguistic as well as cultural reasons. Children learning English will typically go through a quiet phase when they do not say very much and may then use words in both languages in the same sentence

At Woodcroft Communication and Language is about:

  • immersing our children in an environment where adults enjoy exploring language with children, through conversation, poems, oral storytelling and a wide variety of books
  • developing strong relationships so that children are confident to communicate their needs, thoughts and ideas
  • listening to children and responding with full attention and interest to children’s attempts to communicate at every level
  • using language to articulate thinking
  • remembering that children need time to formulate their thoughts and ideas and space to respond to adults and each other
  •  encouraging children to engage with stories and incorporate stories into their play
  • empowering children  to change stories, develop their ideas through stories, and to see themselves as story makers
  • extending vocabulary and exploring the meanings and sounds of new words
  • beginning to build children’s capacity to talk and think about language.