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In This Issue
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Effective Communication in the Classroom

 
Communication skills are essential for the speaking and listening development of young children. These skills form the foundation of early literacy, and should be at the forefront of early childhood programs. Young children learn vocabulary skills and sentence structure by listening to adults. Through speaking, children put their knowledge of language to use. In many ways, communication skills really present the ultimate product of a child's early learning experiences and upbringing. Language skills, emotional regulation, self-awareness, self-confidence, and social skills all play an important role in communication.

Research suggests that a child's ability to use language and effectively communicate with others is directly related to later literacy development. Therefore, oral language development is a critical foundation for effective communication. While every child learns at their own pace, it's important to always allow for opportunities for communication with one another. One way children expand their vocabularies and learn important lessons in communication is by speaking and listening to each other. However, young children (especially before age 4) make their largest language gains through interacting with and observing their caregivers. When it comes to language acquisition and healthy communication, it helps to have good role models! Talking about experiences, depicting them through actions, and then discussing the actions can all contribute to healthy language development.

One of the most effective and simplest ways to develop effective communication skills is simply through conversation. Caregivers should also take advantage of every opportunity to introduce children to appropriate descriptive words, including emotional language. When talking to children, adults often use the simplest possible language because they think children will not understand. However, complex descriptive language is the best way to help children understand a situation. Using descriptive words in proper context around children helps them remember the meaning or proper use of a new word. Other great ways to develop effective communication skills include: 
  • Shared Conversations: Talking with children about their day is a natural way to build communication skills
  • Read-Aloud: Book authors use formal sentence structures and a far broader vocabulary than typical conversation
  • Intentional Talking: Promote oral language development by intentionally talking with children about concepts and ideas.
  • Shared Reading: Storybook reading allows children to see pictures and words together to better understand the meaning of words and sentence structure
It's important for childcare providers to focus on helping children build the foundational skills they need to become competent, confident communicators. Good communication skills can make the difference between success and failure in our personal and professional lives. Leading by example and speaking with children in a confident and loving tone sets the stage for a lifetime of effective communication skills and healthy relationships for all young children.   
 
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More Than Baby Talk
Article Courtesy of unc.edu
 
Early language and communication skills are crucial for children's success in school and beyond. Language and communication skills include the ability to understand others and express oneself using words, gestures, or facial expressions. Children who develop strong language and communication skills are more likely to arrive at school ready to learn.
 
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Supporting Child Communication Skills
Article Courtesy of zerotothree.org

The capacity to communicate is the ability and desire to connect with others by exchanging ideas and feelings, both verbally and non-verbally. Most children learn to communicate to get a need met or to establish and maintain interaction with a loved adult. Babies communicate from birth, through sounds, facial expressions and gestures/body movements. Babies continue to develop communication skills when adults respond to their efforts to "tell" others about what they need or want.  View Article
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This Month's Trial Course: Speaking and Listening Skills   
 
CCEI offers CHD101: Promoting Speaking and Listening Skills as an online no-cost trial child care training course to new CCEI users during the month of June.

Literacy experts have determined that one of the most effective ways to increase school readiness is to improve children's speaking and listening skills, which are the basic building blocks of literacy and future academic achievement. This course emphasizes the central role of speaking and listening skills in the development of communication and early literacy skills.   
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Communication in School-Age Programs   
 
School-age kids begin to tailor their communication styles to their surroundings. Younger kids usually communicate with one style no matter where they are or who they are with. As school-age kids spend more time away from home, they often develop new patterns of speaking based on what their friends are saying or what they hear on television.

School-age programs offer a safe environment for further communication opportunities in an afterschool setting. This can be a useful time for kids to communicate with one another by telling jokes or playing games. The can understand more sophisticated things, and begin engaging with one another in more mature ways.
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