Communication, language and literacy

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Children's learning and competence in communicating, speaking and listening, being read to and beginning to read and write must be supported and extended.

They must be provided with opportunity and encouragement to use their skills in a range of situations and for a range of purposes, and be supported in developing the confidence and disposition to do so.

Aspects of Communication, Language and Literacy

Communication, Language and Literacy is made up of the following aspects:

•        Language for Communication – is about how children become communicators. Learning to listen and speak emerges out of non-verbal communication, which includes facial expression, eye contact and hand gesture. These skills develop as children interact with others, listen to and use language, extend their vocabulary and experience stories, songs, poems and rhymes.

  • Language for Thinking – is about how children learn to use language to imagine and recreate roles and experiences and how they use talk to clarify their thinking and ideas or to refer to events they have observed or are curious about.
  • Linking Sounds and Letters – is about how children develop the ability to distinguish between sounds and become familiar with rhyme, rhythm and alliteration. They develop understanding of the correspondence between spoken and written sounds and learn to link sounds and letters and use their knowledge to read and write simple words by sounding out and blending.
  • Reading – is about children understanding and enjoying stories, books and rhymes, recognising that print carries meaning, both fiction and fact, and reading a range of familiar words and simple sentences.
  • Writing – is about how children build an understanding of the relationship between the spoken and written word and how through making marks, drawing and personal writing children ascribe meaning to text and attempt to write for various purposes.
  • Handwriting – is about the ways in which children's random marks, lines and drawings develop and form the basis of recognisable letters.

What Communication, Language and Literacy means for children

  • To become skilful communicators, babies and young children need to be with people with whom they have warm and loving relationships, such as their family or carers and, in a group situation, a key person whom they know and trust.
  • Babies respond differently to different sounds and from an early age are able to distinguish sound patterns. They use their voices to make contact and to let people know what they need and how they feel. They learn to talk by being talked to.
  • All children learn best through activities and experiences that engage all the senses. Music, dance, rhymes and songs support language development.
  • As children develop speaking and listening skills they build the foundations for literacy, for making sense of visual and verbal signs and ultimately for reading and writing. Children need varied opportunities to interact with others and to use a wide variety of resources for expressing their understanding, including mark-making, drawing, modelling, reading and writing.

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