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.

Quality Talk in Early Years Settings

Quality Talk in Early Years Settings

Quality Talk in Early Years Settings

This chapter will

  • Explore examples of effective conversations with children at various stages of speech and language development
  • Introduce the concept of ‘Sustained Shared Thinking’ (SST)
  • Reach a conclusion on how to identify effective communication and SST

Identifying quality interactions: Sustained Shared Thinking (SST)

Riley and Reedy, in their review of key research into language and its impact on learning in the early years, point to the need for ‘real conversations’ and ‘sensitive interaction’ (Riley and Reedy, 2007). Wells, in his reflection on the Bristol Study, describes how it is the children themselves who work hardest at constructing their own language, but adults maximise children’s understanding by responding to the meaning of what children say and adjusting the ...

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