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.

Creating the Climate for Successful Communication

Creating the Climate for Successful Communication

In Chapter 1 we discussed the importance of language and communication in the early years and some of the things educators can do to help facilitate talk. In this chapter, we will consider how teachers can create a ‘climate’ for successful communication. By climate, we mean both the physical environment and the atmosphere which enables communication.

In exploring this topic we will look at strategies which give structure to discussion and ground rules for talk, as well as the importance of ensuring that oral work is valued by parents and carers, colleagues and, above all, children.

Consider for a moment different situations in which you talk with friends and family. These might include being:

  • at home;
  • in ...
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