Language and communication are essential in the classroom, essential in children’s learning, essential in teachers’ communication with children and essential in children’s understanding of themselves. This book is about talk - why it’s important, how it helps with learning and how you make the most of it in the classroom. There are increasing concerns about levels of language difficulties and delayed language development among children entering school. This presents a very real challenge for primary school teachers today. Talk is central to children’s learning across the curriculum as well as to their language and communication development. This book is a guide for trainee and beginning teachers on how to use talk in the classroom. It explores the theory behind the teaching of language and communication skills and includes lots of practical advice on how to translate this into the classroom.

Early Language Development

Early Language Development

Children spend many hundreds of hours in primary school learning to read and write. But by the time they start school, they have already largely mastered spoken language, a far more complex and challenging undertaking, and they do this without formal teaching and in their earliest years. It is a remarkable achievement. They learn to produce speech sounds clearly enough to be understood; they learn thousands of words; they combine those words in unlimited ways to convey meaning; and they learn to adapt their language to different situations. How do they do it? This chapter will outline children’s early language development and also how it can be supported effectively in the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Theories of language development

Early behaviourist ...

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