Unit 3.10 WB: Promote children’s speech, language and communication
Define the terms:
Speech is a language, it is how one pronounces words and articulate them. It is also described as vocal sound and speaking, speech is an expression of sounds and phonics sounds, an example of this would be the sounds what comes out of one’s mouth.
There are many types of language, these can range from sign language, body language, written and spoken language. Language is a formation of sentences linking to events. Spoken language is often referred to as abstract symbols and the symbols are linked to the way we make the association to objects, people and ideas. Depending on how language is used it will have its own set of rules and these rules include grammar, if grammar is not correct it can change the meaning of a sentence.
Communication is how one exchanges or receives information. Communication can be verbal or non-verbal. The information that one receives, or exchange can be communicated by using gesture, body language, facial expression, eye contact, other forms of communication can be written, spoken.
Describe theoretical perspectives in relation to speech, language and communication (SLC) development
Innateness perspective – this perspective suggests speech, language and communication (SLC) is developed without conscious thoughts and that it is a natural process as it is inborn. Noam Chomsky was a theorist that argued that people are wired to learn language and they are born with most basic rules of language. Although some theorist believes that language SLC is influenced by environment, Chomsky believed our brains are already equipped with the ability to gain language at a certain stage in children’s development.
Chomsky developed the theory of universal grammar he believed children’s language follow a similar rule and pattern when it comes to grammar, he suggested children are born with an understanding of the rules of grammar as they have the natural predilection to learn and use the rules. Chomsky proposed the optimal learning age was between 3 and 10 years old and that children do not need a trigger to learn language, as it happens on their own because innate learning enables children to work out language for themselves.
Behaviourist perspective – believe children learn SLC through the reward system. They believe if a baby is babbling and an adult responds to that baby by smiling or by giving the baby some attention, it will encourage the baby to do more babbling.
Skinner was a theorist that was associated with the behaviourist perspective. He suggested that babies are like a blank slate that is filled up by knowledge gained through experiences, he also linked language to cognitive behaviours (Traxler 2012). Skinner’s theory on operant conditioning suggested children learn language through trail and error and will use this method until they get it right with the support of reinforcement and shaping which is provided by adults, as children get pleasure from adult’s positive response.
Constructivist perspective – they believe language was developed through the cognitive process. this perspective suggest that children learn from action and by exploring their own environment and children are active in their learning.
A key theorist for constructivism was Jean Piaget, he studied children for a number of years and discovered children answers followed a logic pattern based on their own experience, Piaget called this pattern ‘schemas’. Schemas are adapted as children learn new experiences, the process are called assimilation (when a child realizes something is used in a similar way to something he has used before) and accommodation (a child realizes their schema does not work and they find another way for it to work based on their experience). Piaget believed children did not only learn SLC from developing and adapting their schemas, he believed they had to pass through four stages of development,
Sociological perspective – this perspective believes children learn language because it is linked to their social development. This perspective also suggests that children’s SLC is reinforced by adult-adult interaction and adult-child interaction and the perspective stresses that the two interactions are different.
Vygotsky was a key theorist in sociological perspective he believed there is a link between language and cognitive development, Vygotsky thought children aged 2 or 3 used language to help control their behaviour and thoughts. He thought children were active in their learning and although he thought there was a great link to the language and cognitive process he thought the social process was just as important. He believed children’s SLC will be improved with the support of an adult. Vygotsky worked on Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) in this he suggested that children have an unlock potential and it was for the adult to discover it. ZPD is usually described as the gap between what children already know and what they have the potential to do with the gentle influence of an adult.
Analyse how theoretical perspectives relating to speech, language and communication development inform current frameworks.
According to the EYFS (2017) and the National Curriculum children need to meet targets by the time they get to a certain age, this perspective relates because it believes by the time children get to a certain age they should naturally be able to meet some of the targets. In the EYFS it states that children need to meet the Early Learning Goals by the end of reception. In my setting we understand that children learn at different rates and believe that children will learn something when they are ready to because it is a natural process for children to develop language and because the EYFS acknowledges this we as practitioners need to provide the children with the right resources.
According to the EYFS (2017) adults in a setting need to make enjoyable experiences, as it allows children to learn and according to this perspective if children are enjoying an experience and the adult is rewarding them with praise and encouragement they are more likely to learn.
The constructivist perspective suggests that children learn from having an enabling environment and if the setting provides this by giving children a range of books and learning resources they will get a meaning from words and the structure language is used. The EYFS (2017) also states that setting should provide children with an enabling environment and provide activities in was children can express themselves and speak and listen in a variety of situations.
In the Sociological perspective adults have an important role in children’s learning, as they act as a role model especially when developing children’s SLC. The EYFS and the National Curriculum also states that adults have an important role in supporting children’s SLC and they provide children with opportunities which allow children to talk and communicate with each other.
Describe the benefits to children’s holistic learning and development when supporting speech, language and communication development
The benefits of holistic learning and development when supporting SLC development would be; In my setting when we set up activities that promote SLC development, we always consider how they can benefit the children’s holistic learning and development, an activity we have done with the children to support holistic learning and development when supporting speech, language and communication development is retelling a story using finger puppets. In this activity I read the children a story of Goldie Locks and the Three and as a small group the children retold the story using the finger puppets. These are the benefits to children’s holistic learning and development when supporting speech, language and communication development:
Cognitive development and memory
The benefits here was that children had to retell the story by using memory and the prompts helped trigger the memory to retell the story, children had to remember the sequence of the story, it helped develop their language by using repetitive phases in the story.
Reading and writing
Because language is linked to reading and writing, it enabled children to create their own version of the story and how the story may end, they were able to use words from their own vocabulary.
For children when they play they have fun and when they have fun they learn informally, retelling the story allowed to be imaginative.
This activity allowed children to develop socially they had to understand that they had to take turns and share the puppets and wait for their turn and because the activity was focused on SLC, it also supported their social development.
This supports language and as it supports language it allows children to develop their language when dealing with their behaviour because they would learn words they can use instead of crying or even hate other children (Tassoni 2014).
Due to the nature of the story they got to learn what was unacceptable behaviour for example not listening to adults like Goldie Locks not listening o her mother and going into a stranger’s home.
Analyse how the use of technology supports the development of speech, language and communication
Technology has many advantages and disadvantages when supporting the development of SLC in my setting we us cameras, they are used to take pictures of events and if the children have made or built something. Its encourages children to talk about past events, and things they have made. Some children get excited when they see something on a camera and it helps encourage their language.
We also use iPads which have preloaded educational apps and they support SLC by allowing the children to repeat sounds and phases, listen to stories which encourages SLC development. It is also an informal way of learning; some children will not want to set with an adult and read a book but will be happy to listen to many stories on an iPad/tablet. In the setting that I work children must be in pairs to use the iPads and this encourages communication between the two children because if they start arguing over it they will no longer be able to use it. As well as iPad we have touch screen computers in my setting and they have the same benefits to the iPads.
My setting also uses the interactive white board, this is very beneficial when working in larger groups, when the children are working in larger groups they learn from it other too, so for example when watch a story on the interactive white board , the EYP will often pause it so the children can have a discussion about what they have watched so far and this way the children get to learn SLC from each other.
Sometime the disadvantage of technology being used in an early years setting is that children can become dependent on it and not want to set down and read a book or it can be difficult to take it away from them once you have given it to them. Also, with some of the software on the technology, their sounds are not always pure and can lead to children saying words wrong.
Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage Setting the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth to five Published: 3 March 2017 Effective: 3 April 2017
Tassoni, P (2014) CACHE Level 3 Early Years Educator for the Work-Based Learner: Hodder Education
Traxler, M (2012) Introduction to Psycholinguistic – Understanding Language Science, Wiley- Blackwell publishing, West Sussex