Natural Pedagogy

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  • Communication comes naturally to children. At the same time, it emerges over the course of childhood as a complex, multifaceted developmental achievement. Children's communicative abilities blossom developmentally in the context of natural pedagogy, that is, with myriad forms of support and guidance on the part of the skilled communicators peopling children's lives. Two dimensions of such assistance are worth distinguishing: assistance that fosters children's emerging understanding of what the communicative enterprise is and how to be skillful at it and assistance that fosters children's acquisition of the details of a given communicative system, such as language or gesture. Natural pedagogy in communicative development often manifests as more experienced communicators modifying communicative signals (consciously or unconsciously) to make them more learnable and the messages they convey ...

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