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“Let’s Get Talking”
Basic Language & Play Enrichment – EYFS
Jenni Evans – Independent Speech and Language Therapist
Why is communication important?
Poor language skills are considered a public
health problem (Law et al., 2013)
Good speakers and listeners do better at reading and writing.
Communication is key to making friends.
• Children who have a poor vocabulary aged 5 are 1½ times more likely to
have reading and writing difficulties later in life and more than twice as
likely to be unemployed as children who have a normal vocabulary aged 5
(Law et al, 2010)
• A child’s vocabulary and ability to talk in 2-3 word sentences at the age of
2 is a very strong predictor of the qualifications they will achieve when
they leave school (Feinstein and Duckworth, 2006)
Communication House
Like a house, communication skills are built from the foundations upwards.
What communication are skills there?
play
understanding
words
saying
words
speech
sounds
interaction
skills
attention & listening
interaction skills
saying words
play
understanding words
attention & listening
speech sounds
Which do you think are in the foundations of the house and need to develop first?
Between 18 months & 6 years children learn
8 new words a day!!
0-3 years is the most crucial time for brain
development
Word association activity
New Words
What should my 3 year old do?
• Listen to and remember simple stories with pictures.
• Understand longer instructions: ‘Make teddy jump' or ‘Where's mummy's
coat?'
• Understand simple 'who', 'what' and 'where' questions.
• Use up to 300 words.
• Use pronouns: I, me, my, he, she, your, we
• Put 4 or 5 words together to make short sentences: 'want more juice' or
‘he took my ball’.
• Ask lots of questions. They will want to find out
the name of things and learn new words.
• Often have problems saying more difficult
sounds like v, sh, ch, j, th and r. However, people
that know them can mostly understand them.
• Starting to play more with other children and
share things.
What should my 4 year old do?
• Listen to longer stories and answer questions about a story they have just
heard.
• Understand and often use colour, number and time related words: 'red'
car, 'three' fingers and 'yesterday / tomorrow'.
• Be able to answer questions about ‘why’ something has happened.
• Use longer sentences and link sentences together with ‘and’
• Describe events that have already happened: ‘we went park.'
• Enjoy make-believe play.
• Start to like simple jokes.
• Ask many questions using words like ‘what’ ‘where’
and ‘why’.
• Start to be able to plan games with others.
• Use most speech sounds – are 75-100% intelligible
What should my 5 year old do?
• Understand spoken instructions without stopping what they are doing to look
at the speaker.
• Choose their own friends and play mates.
• Take turns in much longer conversations.
• Understand more complicated language such as ‘first’, ‘last’, ‘might’, ‘maybe’,
‘above’ and ‘in between’.
• Understand words that describe sequences such as “first we are going to the
shop, next we will play in the park”.
• Use sentences that are well formed. However, they may still have some
difficulties with grammar. For example, saying
'sheeps' instead of 'sheep' or 'goed’ instead of
'went'.
• Use most speech sounds. However, they may have
some difficulties with longer or more difficult words
such as 'scribble' or 'elephant'.
What can you do?
Put listening to your child first:
• Show your child how to be a good listener by listening to them and
others
• Be patient: don’t interrupt or finish their sentences for them
• Give your child your attention: try not to check your mobile phone
at the same time they are talking to you
• Show you’re listening: ask questions about what they say, ask their
opinions
• Listen to your child reading aloud regularly
What can you do?
Turn off the TV / remove the iPad and…..
TV / screen time
• Reduce the amount of TV and
computer time to a maximum of 30
minutes a day.
• TV and computers can prevent
conversation happening at home.
Children who watch too much TV
and spend too much time on the
computer, instead of playing and
talking with their family, are more
likely to have difficulties with
language development.
• Choose programmes and games
carefully.
• Avoid having it on as ‘background
noise’.
• Watch with them – comment and
ask questions.
Build talking into everyday activities
www.youtube.com/watch?v=MX8H5PCnYSs
Talk about what is going on in your child’s world
www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-SuMeeWfZ0
Talk and play means the words will stay!
Strategy Example
Name things & use lots of
repetition
“It’s a cow.” “Moo says the cow.” “cow
eating” “The cow’s walking.” “Black
and white cow” “the cow and the pig”
“the cow’s tail”
Reduce questions - turn your
questions into comments
“What’s that?” “It’s a bus”
“What’s he doing?” “Look,
teddy’s drinking”
What are you doing?” “you’re
pushing the car”
Expand their vocabulary by
introducing new words in a
positive way
Child: Horse runs fast”
Adult: “Wow! Look at him galloping.”
Speak in sentences one word longer than
theirs
www.youtube.com/watch?v=81a23pym2zI
Strategy Example
Add one or two extra words
to what they have said e.g.
sizes, actions, adjectives,
names
Child: Hat
Adult: Put on hat.
Child: Climb up
Adult: Climb up high
Child: Car
Adult: “blue car”, “Jack’s car”, “drive
car”, “fast car”, “brrm brrm car”
Doing the washing
Label things
/ actions /
concepts
Comment
Make it a
game!Extend
Following the child’s lead
 Get down to your child’s level - position yourself at the same
level as them - get down on the floor or bring them up to your
level.
 Sit in a ‘communicative’ way - position yourself where your
child can see you - opposite, at the same height and nice and
close. When they look up they will know you are waiting and
listening.
 Wait and watch what they are doing, don’t interfere.
 Show them that you are listening and interested in what they
are doing by copying them in their actions and play.
Extend basic play
One step Two step
(adult models Step 1+2)
Three step
(adult models Steps
1+2+3)
Lining up trains Push train over a bridge Stop the train because
something is on the track.
Bake a cake Sing happy birthday
Put on a doctors coat
Brush doll’s hair / undress
doll etc.
Pour a cup of tea
Build a rocket
Model Play
• Model interactive play e.g. taking turns to build a tower or make sand shapes, and
interaction with siblings or friends e.g. taking turns / asking for a turn.
• Model imaginative play e.g. using home items e.g. pretending to drink from a
teacup/stir a mixture/pour a drink, eat play food/talk on the phone/a toy lion to
roar or other animal noises/a car to beep or other transport noises etc.
• Don't just watch from the side-lines – get "into" the play! It is easy to become a
"narrator" when playing with a child, and just talk about what is happening. A
narrator says things like "Oh, you are feeding the baby. You are taking such good
care of your baby". If you have a toy in your hand and play yourself, it will ensure
that you are "in" the play. Being ‘in' the play gives the child more chances to learn
because it allows for more interaction and conversation. Playing together will be a
back-and-forth "conversation", in which each of you has a chance to say or do
something.
• Introduce new ideas – if your child is able to link some familiar pretend actions
together, the goal is to encourage less familiar themes. For example, if they enjoy
pretending with dolls, you could introduce a less familiar theme of a fairy coming to
visit the doll, or maybe the doll could visit a castle to see the king. Or if they enjoy
playing with vehicles you could introduce a less familiar theme by having the cars
break down and taking them to the mechanic. Or perhaps superheroes could drive
the cars as they save the day!
Living with 2+ languages
• Being bilingual is an advantage!
• Speak to your child in your strongest
language
• Do what feels natural
Any questions?

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EY and KS1 Language Enrichment and Engaging in Play

  • 1. “Let’s Get Talking” Basic Language & Play Enrichment – EYFS Jenni Evans – Independent Speech and Language Therapist
  • 2. Why is communication important? Poor language skills are considered a public health problem (Law et al., 2013) Good speakers and listeners do better at reading and writing. Communication is key to making friends. • Children who have a poor vocabulary aged 5 are 1½ times more likely to have reading and writing difficulties later in life and more than twice as likely to be unemployed as children who have a normal vocabulary aged 5 (Law et al, 2010) • A child’s vocabulary and ability to talk in 2-3 word sentences at the age of 2 is a very strong predictor of the qualifications they will achieve when they leave school (Feinstein and Duckworth, 2006)
  • 3. Communication House Like a house, communication skills are built from the foundations upwards. What communication are skills there?
  • 4. play understanding words saying words speech sounds interaction skills attention & listening interaction skills saying words play understanding words attention & listening speech sounds Which do you think are in the foundations of the house and need to develop first?
  • 5. Between 18 months & 6 years children learn 8 new words a day!! 0-3 years is the most crucial time for brain development Word association activity New Words
  • 6. What should my 3 year old do? • Listen to and remember simple stories with pictures. • Understand longer instructions: ‘Make teddy jump' or ‘Where's mummy's coat?' • Understand simple 'who', 'what' and 'where' questions. • Use up to 300 words. • Use pronouns: I, me, my, he, she, your, we • Put 4 or 5 words together to make short sentences: 'want more juice' or ‘he took my ball’. • Ask lots of questions. They will want to find out the name of things and learn new words. • Often have problems saying more difficult sounds like v, sh, ch, j, th and r. However, people that know them can mostly understand them. • Starting to play more with other children and share things.
  • 7. What should my 4 year old do? • Listen to longer stories and answer questions about a story they have just heard. • Understand and often use colour, number and time related words: 'red' car, 'three' fingers and 'yesterday / tomorrow'. • Be able to answer questions about ‘why’ something has happened. • Use longer sentences and link sentences together with ‘and’ • Describe events that have already happened: ‘we went park.' • Enjoy make-believe play. • Start to like simple jokes. • Ask many questions using words like ‘what’ ‘where’ and ‘why’. • Start to be able to plan games with others. • Use most speech sounds – are 75-100% intelligible
  • 8. What should my 5 year old do? • Understand spoken instructions without stopping what they are doing to look at the speaker. • Choose their own friends and play mates. • Take turns in much longer conversations. • Understand more complicated language such as ‘first’, ‘last’, ‘might’, ‘maybe’, ‘above’ and ‘in between’. • Understand words that describe sequences such as “first we are going to the shop, next we will play in the park”. • Use sentences that are well formed. However, they may still have some difficulties with grammar. For example, saying 'sheeps' instead of 'sheep' or 'goed’ instead of 'went'. • Use most speech sounds. However, they may have some difficulties with longer or more difficult words such as 'scribble' or 'elephant'.
  • 10. Put listening to your child first: • Show your child how to be a good listener by listening to them and others • Be patient: don’t interrupt or finish their sentences for them • Give your child your attention: try not to check your mobile phone at the same time they are talking to you • Show you’re listening: ask questions about what they say, ask their opinions • Listen to your child reading aloud regularly
  • 11. What can you do? Turn off the TV / remove the iPad and…..
  • 12. TV / screen time • Reduce the amount of TV and computer time to a maximum of 30 minutes a day. • TV and computers can prevent conversation happening at home. Children who watch too much TV and spend too much time on the computer, instead of playing and talking with their family, are more likely to have difficulties with language development. • Choose programmes and games carefully. • Avoid having it on as ‘background noise’. • Watch with them – comment and ask questions.
  • 13. Build talking into everyday activities www.youtube.com/watch?v=MX8H5PCnYSs Talk about what is going on in your child’s world www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-SuMeeWfZ0 Talk and play means the words will stay!
  • 14. Strategy Example Name things & use lots of repetition “It’s a cow.” “Moo says the cow.” “cow eating” “The cow’s walking.” “Black and white cow” “the cow and the pig” “the cow’s tail” Reduce questions - turn your questions into comments “What’s that?” “It’s a bus” “What’s he doing?” “Look, teddy’s drinking” What are you doing?” “you’re pushing the car” Expand their vocabulary by introducing new words in a positive way Child: Horse runs fast” Adult: “Wow! Look at him galloping.”
  • 15. Speak in sentences one word longer than theirs www.youtube.com/watch?v=81a23pym2zI Strategy Example Add one or two extra words to what they have said e.g. sizes, actions, adjectives, names Child: Hat Adult: Put on hat. Child: Climb up Adult: Climb up high Child: Car Adult: “blue car”, “Jack’s car”, “drive car”, “fast car”, “brrm brrm car”
  • 16. Doing the washing Label things / actions / concepts Comment Make it a game!Extend
  • 17. Following the child’s lead  Get down to your child’s level - position yourself at the same level as them - get down on the floor or bring them up to your level.  Sit in a ‘communicative’ way - position yourself where your child can see you - opposite, at the same height and nice and close. When they look up they will know you are waiting and listening.  Wait and watch what they are doing, don’t interfere.  Show them that you are listening and interested in what they are doing by copying them in their actions and play.
  • 18. Extend basic play One step Two step (adult models Step 1+2) Three step (adult models Steps 1+2+3) Lining up trains Push train over a bridge Stop the train because something is on the track. Bake a cake Sing happy birthday Put on a doctors coat Brush doll’s hair / undress doll etc. Pour a cup of tea Build a rocket
  • 19. Model Play • Model interactive play e.g. taking turns to build a tower or make sand shapes, and interaction with siblings or friends e.g. taking turns / asking for a turn. • Model imaginative play e.g. using home items e.g. pretending to drink from a teacup/stir a mixture/pour a drink, eat play food/talk on the phone/a toy lion to roar or other animal noises/a car to beep or other transport noises etc. • Don't just watch from the side-lines – get "into" the play! It is easy to become a "narrator" when playing with a child, and just talk about what is happening. A narrator says things like "Oh, you are feeding the baby. You are taking such good care of your baby". If you have a toy in your hand and play yourself, it will ensure that you are "in" the play. Being ‘in' the play gives the child more chances to learn because it allows for more interaction and conversation. Playing together will be a back-and-forth "conversation", in which each of you has a chance to say or do something. • Introduce new ideas – if your child is able to link some familiar pretend actions together, the goal is to encourage less familiar themes. For example, if they enjoy pretending with dolls, you could introduce a less familiar theme of a fairy coming to visit the doll, or maybe the doll could visit a castle to see the king. Or if they enjoy playing with vehicles you could introduce a less familiar theme by having the cars break down and taking them to the mechanic. Or perhaps superheroes could drive the cars as they save the day!
  • 20. Living with 2+ languages • Being bilingual is an advantage! • Speak to your child in your strongest language • Do what feels natural