Promoting early communication and language skills

Children benefit from opportunities to develop their early communication skills in the home, nursery and play environments in relation to their social skills, development of play, comprehension and expressive language skills.

Resources such as the Play, Talk, Read website and the play@home programme are useful tools for supporting parents to interact and communicate with their child and increase an awareness of developmental milestones and skills. 

Early Years staff can help to promote early language skills by:

  • being aware of the need to simplify the language they use in terms of vocabulary, sentence length and complexity, when compared to speaking to older children and adults
  • making use of symbols and gestures to support language comprehension whenever appropriate
  • supporting children’s attention and listening skills
  • providing opportunities to develop an awareness of rhyme, rhythm and word patterns
  • making use of comments to prompt use of language rather than overusing questions
  • providing opportunities for small groups using resources provided by their local Speech and Language Therapy Department
  • providing sufficient response time for children within play and interaction.

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