Oral language has been a focus for our children in their development over the course of the term to foster independence, develop their sense of belonging, and develop relationships with others.
A strong focus on using language to request, inform, and instruct has supported this. This basically means encouraging children to use their words when asking for help, sharing their learning, engaging in play with their friends and resolving conflict in their play. An increase in children’s use of oral language has in turn supported growth in children’s social and emotional development.
Educators engaged in play with children and being intentional around modelling and building onto children’s oral language use is key to increasing children’s oral language skills. More specifically the development of conversation skills, increasing children’s vocabulary, noticing and naming what we see and hear, asking and responding to questions, problem solving and I wonder statements stretch children in their thinking and enriches their play. Educators engaged in shared play has also strengthened our relationships with children and our ability to plan for individual children in their learning and development.
The importance of music, singing, chants and nursery rhymes are also crucial in developing children’s oral language and has been the focus of our group collaboration time. There is a great deal of spontaneous singing throughout the day as children transfer their newly learnt songs into their play.
Other learning experiences which foster oral language development in the ELC include:
- Dramatic play spaces.
- Inquiry spaces.
- Story table.
- Shared reading
- Relaxation – active listening/listening to learn.
- Small world play.
- Library visits.
- Performing Arts with Mr Tuck.
- Through fostering oral language by offering these play based experiences, we are also setting the foundation for reading in primary school. “As children engage in these early interactions, they unconsciously come to understand various aspects of language that will ultimately support their reading development.” (DfE, The Big Six components of reading)
As a team we are proud of the growth in all our children around their use of language and enjoy our many conversations throughout the day to support children in learning new things.