Children learn to talk through interaction including involvement in many thousands of conversations with adults and other children. These conversations provide the framework for exploring relationships, understanding the world, and learning - in its widest sense. This book explores how children learn to communicate using language, how they use language to learn and the role of adults in the process. It examines how adults can support children to learn by involving them in positive interactions, meaningful conversation and by helping them play, explore and talk with each other. The book includes: examples of children and adults talking and learning together case studies of successful approaches that support language and learning in early years settings points for reflection and practical tasks Informed by the author's own experience working with young children, families and practitioners, and from his involvement in the England-wide Every Child a Talker (ECaT) project, it links key research findings with successful practice to inspire practitioners to develop skills when talking with children, influence how adults plan for talk in settings and gain insight into how language develops in the home.

Towards first words

Towards first words

Towards first words

This chapter will

  • Outline the phases that babies go through to reach the babbling stage, and how this gradually emerges into using first words
  • Introduce two main theoretical approaches to the significance of babbling
  • Explore how adult interaction with babies and toddlers supports progress towards first words

From cooing to babbling to ‘scribble talk’: the facts

Phase 1: Vegetative sounds to cooing

From birth to around eight weeks, the baby makes what are variously known as ‘vegetative sounds’ or ‘reflexive vocalisations’. As these terms suggest, the oral sounds that baby’s emit are often the result of bodily functions, e.g. burping. The baby’s lips and tongue are largely involved with sucking and swallowing at this stage. ‘Cooing’ develops from around two months, where babies make sounds ...

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