Adults play a crucial role in developing young children’s communication. The way in which they interact is important. A range of strategies can be used to support and extend communication skills.
Get down to their level – When you are face to face with children this engages their attention and shows that you are ready to listen and interact
Let them lead – Noticing what a child is interested in, and then talking to them about it, boosts language development
Watch and wait – It is important to observe what a child is attending and wait before you start the talking. Children need time to put their ideas and thoughts together
Match your language to their level – You can imitate children’s words and sentences to show them you are listening and value their ideas. Then you can extend thinking by modelling language, ideas and concepts
Use commenting – Talk about what you are doing together using simple sentences
Be careful with questions – Try not to ask too many questions, unless they are necessary. Too many questions stop the natural flow of conversation