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The Importance of Speech, Language, and Communication

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    Understand the importance of speech, language and communication for children’s overall development. 1. 1 Explain each of the terms: 1. 1a Speech The word speech when used in relation to children and young people’s development literally means the act of speaking, verbal communication, or to express thoughts, feelings, or ideas. 1. 1b Language The term language refers to an understood, systematic arrangement of signs, symbols and gestures used to communicate. 1. 1c Communication To communicate is to ably convey thoughts, information or feelings using signals, speech, body language, or by the written word. . 1d Speech, language and communication needs (SLCN). A child who is diagnosed with a SLCN is experiencing a communication breakdown due to a difficulty with one or more of the different elements of speech, language or communication. This may be a minor, temporary or a long-term difficulty, which requires extra assistance to support the child’s development needs. 1. 2 Explain how speech, language and communication skills support each of the following areas in children’s development: 1. 2a Learning

    An ability to communicate effectively and understand the language being spoken allows a child to participate, understand and develop ideas and opinions. 1. 2b Emotional Children use speech, language and communication in order to express emotion freely, for their own social development and to look after themselves. Children also need to be able to convey their thoughts and feelings in a way that is socially acceptable. 1. 2c Behaviour Understanding language and communication play a major role in the ability to effectively set boundaries and limits that encourage children to behave in appropriate and acceptable ways. . 2d Social Children use language to talk to themselves, give themselves instruction, organise ideas, understand something puzzling, express a feeling, or understand the concept of an idea. This kind of speech is helpful for a child developing the ability to put themselves in someone else’s position and think like that of another. These kinds of thoughts and use of language allow the child to move from having a ‘self centred’ approach in life, to developing consideration for others. 1. Describe the potential impact of speech, language and communication difficulties on the overall development of a child, both currently and in the longer term. The potential short and long term implications of a child who has difficulties with speech, language and communication are: Short term * Difficulty to make friends * Inability to produce sound * Slow speech * Unsocial behaviour * Difficulties understanding and using language * Complications learning to read and write * Frustration and anger * Easily distracted and inability to concentrate Long term Unfulfilled potential * Reliance on others * Low self-esteem and feelings of self worth * Depression, isolation and exclusion * Reduced life chances * Difficulty to develop and maintain relationships * Development of antisocial behaviour A child that is unable to speak, understand language or communicate is easily isolated, lacks confidence, and lacks the necessary skills to develop and thrive to their full potential. 2. 1 Explain the ways in which adults can effectively support and extend the speech, language and communication development of children during the early years.

    We communicate in many different ways. Sometimes we use multiple types of communication to get a point across and be understood. The types of communication skills we use can be listed as: * Writing * Reading * Speaking * Listening * Thinking * Non-verbal communication As an early years practitioners we need to ensure that we are providing ample opportunities for the children in our care to develop their speech, language, and communication skills to their full potential. Effective ways in which to promote the advancement of a child’s communication skills are: Ensuring lots of opportunities to talk and interact, encouraging conversation and discussions * Providing a rich and stimulating environment offering many opportunities for use of speech, language and communication skills while learning through paly * Using facial expressions * Using gesture and body language * Pauses, allowing time for a child to think, process and respond * Eye contact * Speaking clearly and fluently in respective language being taught * Using movement of hands and face while speaking where appropriate * Using visual aids such as flash cards and books Adapting your language to suit the age of the child/children, keep it simple * Offering support for speech, language and communication needs to children and their parents * Repetition, repeat the same sequence of words for daily actions * Lots of praise and encouragement 2. 2 Explain the relevant positive effects of adult support for the children and their carers. The positive effects of adult support for children can be witnessed as children gain confidence and show an increased level of self-esteem.

    These positive effects are reinforced when encouraged and given praise for their achievements from teachers, parents, carers, and other adults. “Confidence, self-esteem and self-image affect the way we all interact with other people, so this will necessarily affect the development of communication skills. ”(Cache Level 3, Children and Young People’s Workforce Diploma, 2011). 2. 3 Explain how levels of speech and language development vary between children entering early years provision and need to be taken into account during settling in and planning.

    Children entering a setting are all individuals, come from varying cultural/social/economic backgrounds, and will have different levels of abilities where speech, language and communication development is concerned. As an early years practitioner it is important to be able to identify a child’s abilities and cater to his or her individual learning needs. During induction before a child enters your setting you should obtain as much information surrounding language as possible from the parents or caregivers, such as: * Language spoken at home Fluency/understanding of language to be spoken in class * Any known learning difficulties or issues Gathering this information early, means being able to prepare visual aides if necessary, plan with all the children’s ability levels in mind, help the children in your care to settle in quickly and without trauma, and understand and involve themselves in a lesson and classroom life. Preparing in such a way also allows for an easier transition for a child who may not be able to yet communicate effectively in the settings language and ensures that all the children will get the most out of their time in your care.

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