- Build In Opportunities to Talk
- Model Conversation
- Use Complex Language and Vocabulary
- Try It
- Wrap Up
- academic language: the language of instruction—specific words children learn related to subjects such as math, science, art, and so on.
- language/linguistic development: the process of developing language skills to understand when others speak (or use sign language) and to speak (or sign) and engage in conversation
- open-ended questions: questions that require critical thinking, invite opinion or explanation, and have the potential to result in a multipl-word answers
Before watching this video, read the text below. When instructed, watch the video from the beginning to end.
Young children often need concrete models to learn how to express feelings, tell what they are thinking, share a new idea, and solve conflicts. They need specific language strategies that help them ask or explain how or why something happens or to negotiate a disagreement. You can help by modeling exact language.
- Model descriptive language to foster communication and to serve as a role model. Children learn by example strategies for problem solving, negotiating conflicts, and for sharing ideas and feelings. For example, say, Sarah, say, “Josh, I would like to use the pink crayon.” Or, Tell Kali that hurts your feelings.
- “Listen in” to conversations. Be ready to supply language models when children don’t have the words they need to express themselves.
- Provide children with frequent opportunities to work and learn with others. During small group activities, educators can model how to use group strategies such as careful listening, looking at the person who is speaking, and asking and answering questions.
In this video, you’ll see educators model for children how to use language to express thoughts, negotiate, problem-solve, and communicate with each other. As you watch, look for effective strategies used by the educators in the video and jot down answers to these viewing questions in your Learning Log.
- How do the educators use modeling to help children communicate?
- What other strategies do the educators use to help children who have trouble communicating effectively on their own?
How can educators model language?
- Supply the words children need to convey their thoughts. When children are unable to express themselves, educators can model how to express feelings, tell what they are thinking, share a new idea, and solve conflicts.
- Become role models for children. Help children express emotions, thoughts, and ideas by example. For instance, say, I have an idea. We could cut the pizza into three pieces. Who has another idea? Or, I was sad when I saw the broken truck. Tell me how it makes you feel.
- Act out situations for problem solving. Talking through a problem or conflict helps children gain cooperative negotiation skills, while role-playing can help them learn ways to interact.
- Model group strategies. Show children how to engage with a small group through careful listening, looking at the person who is speaking, and asking and answering questions.
What other strategies can educators use to help children who have trouble communicating?
- “Listen in” to the language children use. Children come to the early childhood environment with varying levels of language. Educators can tailor their own language to address specific needs. For example, some children need entire sentences modeled; some children need help with descriptive or time words: the round plate, a sunny day, after school.
- Provide children with frequent opportunities to collaborate with others. During small group activities, children work and learn with others. Educators can model how to use group strategies such as careful listening, looking at the person who is speaking, and asking and answering questions.
Think about the learning environment at your own program as you answer these reflection questions in your Learning Log.
- What strategies do you use to model conversation?
- What did you learn that you will take back to your learning environment and put into practice?