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.

Communicating Complex Ideas

Communicating Complex Ideas

Communicating Complex Ideas

This chapter will

  • Explore how children convey complex meanings from a very young age
  • Explore how practitioners can support children throughout the early years to use language to develop and express their thoughts
  • Make the link between ‘decontextualised language’ and literacy development
  • Describe the need for sensitive teachers

Example 9.1 Simone at 4;6: is Elvis real?

‘Is Elvis real?’ This is possibly the most bizarre question I have ever been asked. About 20 years ago, I was visiting a reception class just before the end of the Christmas term, sitting at a table with Simone and her friend Carl, making Christmas cards. The conversation went something like this (I can picture the scene, even now, because it was so memorable):

Simone: Michael. Is Elvis real?

Michael ...

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