Communication, Language & Literacy What does this mean for the preschool child? Purpose of the Workshop To explore how the preschool child develops communication, language and literacy skills To give parents/carers information about why language delay happens To give parents/carers information about the activities provided at preschool To help parents/carers support their child’s language development at home The Importance of Communication • 50% of children are starting school with weak language skills • Language delay at this age can lead to problems later on in a child’s education • Early intervention can overcome any difficulties • The home environment is a key factor for success in developing language skills Typical Developmental Milestones • Children all develop at different rates, but … • 12-15 months – babbling with a wide range of sounds (b, p, m, d, n), one or more words • 18-24 months – 20 words by 18 months, 50 or more words by 24 months • 2-3 years – too many words to count, can combine three or more words in sentences, produces words/phrases spontaneously, rather than imitating or using gestures Why does Language Delay Happen? • Increase in young children’s exposure to TV and technology • Less time for adult/child talk • Special educational needs (SEN): Developmental delay Learning needs Physical (motor) delay Social, emotional, behavioural needs Language and SEN • SEN does not mean your child has something ‘wrong’ with them – it just means they would benefit from additional support in education • Young children’s brains develop quickly – early intervention is crucial for later success • Language delay can be caused by a variety of special educational needs – hearing issues, motor difficulties, social or emotional needs Preschool Activities to Support Language Songs, rhymes, exploring sounds together Listening – stories, Show and Tell, CDs Speaking in different contexts – role plays, shared sustained thinking Mark making in different contexts Chatting/socialising with adults and peers Fine and gross motor development Beginning to Write Children need to develop their motor skills, before they can learn to write ‘properly’ Gross motor – climbing, balancing, throwing – large whole body movements – lines, curves Fine motor – picking up, threading, holding a brush – small, finger and wrist movements Boys typically begin to write later than girls, but develop more quickly in other areas Learning to Read - Phonics Children need to learn to hear the individual sounds within words Phonemes = sounds (letter/group of letters) Blending sounds together to make words – CVC words ‘cat’ (consonant/vowel/consonant) Talk about the sound of letters, rather than the name So, not ‘See’ for ‘C’ but ‘Kuh’ for the sound it makes when it’s in a word Supporting Your Child at Home Read stories and talk together as much as possible Support them in making sounds correctly Use facial expression and vocal tone, e.g. put a pleased tone in your voice, widen your eyes ‘Model’ talk for your child, for instance talking through an activity as you do it together Use a rich and varied vocabulary – talk with your child about what words mean A Final Thought – Tricky Words! I take it you already know Of tough and bough and cough and dough? Others may stumble, but not you, On hiccough, thorough, plough and through? Well done! And now you wish, perhaps, To learn of less familiar traps? Beware of heard, a dreadful word That looks like beard and sounds like bird, And dead: it's said like bed, not bead – For goodness sake don't call it deed! Watch out for meat and great and threat (They rhyme with suite and straight and debt). A moth is not a moth in mother, Nor both in bother, broth in brother, And here is not a match for there Nor dear and fear for bear and pear, And then there's dose and rose and lose Just look them up - and goose and choose, And cork and work and card and ward, And font and front and word and sword, And do and go and thwart and cart – Come, come, I've hardly made a start! A dreadful language? Man alive! I'd mastered it when I was five!