Qualification: NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Educator
Unit: Unit 3.10: Develop the speech, language and communication of children
Learning outcome: Be able to lead activities which support the development of speech, language and communication of children
Assessment criteria: Plan an activity which supports the development of speech, language and communication of children aged: 0-1 year 11 months, 2-2 years 11 months, 3-5 years
Planning activities that support the development of speech, language, and communication in early years must be tailored to the specific developmental stages and abilities of children in different age groups. Here’s how an Early Years practitioner might approach this:
Ages 0-1 Year 11 Months
- Focus: In this age group, the focus is on developing basic communication skills, including listening, responding to sounds, and beginning to understand words.
- Babble and Talk Back: Engage in babbling conversations, mimicking the sounds babies make and adding simple words to build recognition.
- Singing and Rhymes: Sing lullabies and nursery rhymes, as the rhythm and repetition are beneficial for early language development.
- Simple Storytelling: Read picture books with simple, repetitive text to build vocabulary and comprehension.
- Point and Name: Point to and name familiar objects and people to build word-object associations.
Ages 2-2 Years 11 Months
- Focus: At this stage, children are developing their vocabulary and starting to form simple sentences.
- Interactive Reading: Read stories and ask questions about the pictures and story, encouraging children to point to and name objects.
- Picture Description Games: Use flashcards or pictures, asking children to describe what they see.
- Role-Playing: Engage in role-play activities (like playing house or shop) that encourage dialogue.
- Song and Rhyme Time: Include songs and rhymes with actions that children can participate in, which helps in language development and memory.
Ages 3-5 Years
- Focus: Children in this group are enhancing their language skills further, learning to form complex sentences, and starting to understand storytelling.
- Story Creation: Encourage children to create their own stories, either through drawing or verbally, and then share them with the group.
- Group Discussions: Hold circle time discussions on various topics, allowing children to express their thoughts and listen to others.
- Word Games: Play games that involve word categorization, rhyming, or simple storytelling prompts.
- Puppet Shows: Create puppet shows where children can actively participate, either by using the puppets to communicate or by narrating parts of the story.
General Tips for All Age Groups
- Encourage Expression: Always encourage children to express themselves, regardless of their language skill level.
- Responsive Interaction: Actively listen and respond to what children say, validating their attempts to communicate.
- Use of Real Objects and Experiences: Utilize real-life experiences and objects for children to relate to and talk about.
- Model Good Speech: Consistently model clear and correct speech for children to imitate.
- Include a Variety of Sensory Experiences: Incorporate activities that involve different senses, as this can enhance language learning.
In planning these activities, an Early Years practitioner should be flexible and responsive to the individual needs and interests of the children, adapting activities as needed to ensure they are engaging and appropriate. The key is to create a language-rich environment where children feel comfortable and encouraged to explore and develop their language skills.