Communication is the most important factor for young children’s learning and social development. Humans have the unique skills of language and speech to enable the sharing of information, knowledge and feelings with others. Early childhood educators have an important job to nurture and support the development of communication in children. Communication skills are required in order to deliver the right message and convey it properly to the child. These involve body languages and facial expression.
Without this, an educator loses the connection with a young child since one appears to be cold. As an example, when one smiles while delivering the message, the child will be more interested with what you have to offer in contrast to a stern look. Listening skills are those that are used in obtaining information and messages from others. It is imperative that you have the ability to receive feedback from the child so that you may know their needs. It helps to understand what a person thinks and feels and hence to understand the child closely.
Skills for managing the process of communication will help the educator in recognising information required and developing a strong hold on the rules of interaction and communication (MacCallion, 1988). Communication has been described as the process where information is transmitted from one person to another. This includes the use of both verbal and non-verbal means to convey a message. Non-verbal communication includes facial expression as well as body language. Good communication skills involve listening, reading, writing and speaking.
An early childhood educator deals with children between the ages of birth and 8years. It is at this age when the child learns to relate with others as well as society. Good communication skills are therefore essential for early childhood educators as they may influence the relationship between the teacher and children (Hubley, 1993). Teaching involves sending and receiving information from the students. Good communications skills will encourage the students to participate in the teaching process. This helps portray school as a place where the students can share ideas as well as relate with society.
At this early age, most of the children perceive school as a place that separates them from their family. It is likely that most of the children at this age will prefer to stay at home rather than attend school. Good communication skills will help encourage students to appreciate school as a place of learning as well as a place they can express their own ideas (Joram, 1998). Good communication skills are essential in early childhood education. This is because at this age the child is learning how to express themselves both verbally and non-verbally.
Children develop communication skills by exploring, sharing and interacting with adults through their own environment. According to recent studies, children at this age learn by observing how their parents and caretakers behave. It is therefore essential that the educator has good communication skills as this will affect how the children express themselves and learn in the future (knott, 1979). The main aim of early childhood education is to encourage academic, emotional and physical growth. However at this age the learning abilities of a child are not fully developed.
In a recent study the concentration span of an adult is below 15 minutes while that of a child is less than 5 minutes. This means that the educator has to find ways to engage the child to maintain a longer concentration span. This involves the use of illustrations as well as demonstration that help capture the interest of the child. Good communication skills are essential in aiding the educators’ ability to maintain the child’s concentration span (Joram, 1998). Early childhood education involves the use of play as the mode of education.
This is important in nurturing the child’s development as well as learning. Good communication skills are essential in providing an environment where the children feel free to play with each other as well as participate in the class activities. Play involves participation by the children as well the educator. It is essential for the early childhood educator to be able to create a nurturing environment where the child is confident to interact with others and express themselves. The role of the educator does not solely lie in teaching but also protecting the child in the absence of their parents.
The educator should promote the child’s wellbeing both at school and home. As an example an early childhood educator may notice that children are not interested in the book corner yet all the children enjoy story time and also enjoy looking through the books afterwards, however they will not look at the books in the designated area. With further observation and interaction with the children, it is discovered the children have a fear of the photo of a clown that is hanging above the book corner.
Good communication skills cannot be ignored in providing an environment where the child feels able to express their fears openly. Listening, observing and interacting are a key role in enhancing good communication skills (Robinson, 2007). It is essential that the educator observes the children playing before participating in the play themselves. This helps the teacher understand the strengths and weaknesses of the children. It also helps the teacher avoid imposing adult ideas in the children’s play. Observation is a key aspect in developing good communication skills.
It is through observation that the educator is able to take an initiative role. This means coming up with new ideas or processes that are based on the children’s ideas (McCarthy, 1996). Good communication skills can enable a teacher to organise parent teacher conferences which provide the opportunity for teacher and parents to discuss developmental skills, children’s work and to plan for future learning experiences. The educator can also engage the young child in cooperative learning where children complete a project or task. Pairs work best in kindergartens.
The tasks are in such a way that success of the performance is based on the pair rather than the individual. A good educator should therefore be able to ensure that communication is established in such learning experiences (Wubbels, 1992). Use of illustrations has been shown to build the imagination of a child immensely. Good communications skills emphasis on the power of expressing yourself not only by facial and gestures but also employing other teaching materials such as illustrations.
By illustrating sections of a story or particular events, children can improve their interpretation and comprehension. Children employ responses and personal understanding when they see story characters visually. This develops a child’s imagination and the ability to visualise and interpret printed and spoken information (Hubley, 1993). The importance of communication cannot be stressed further when it comes to early childhood education. Communication skills are core of almost all activities that are practiced at this early age which dictates the type of person that one will grow to. Neither can the importance of communication skills be neglected or ignored.
Effective communication promotes the interest and needs of the young child. The child will show interest only if the teacher is loaded with gestures, confidence and softness. Improving of the communication skills have been shown to bring about a tight bond between the childhood educator and the child. The most important aspects of life are greatly influenced by good communication skills. This leads to respectful and meaningful relationships between the educator and child. In order to feel and have the bliss of healthy emotions at home, there is a need to develop communication skills when it comes to children.
Some educators are not worried when it comes to communication and therefore emotional attachments are rare. Emotions connect human beings in a complex fashion. It is therefore paramount that early childhood educators acquire good skills of communication to ensure that the young brain is able to gather as much as possible and express as much. In doing so, the young child would be able to learn more and the literacy and learning capability levels of the general population could reach unimaginable levels. Reference List MacCallion, M. (1998). The Voice Book.
London, UK: Faber & Faber. Hubley, J. (1993) . Communication Health. London, UK: Macmillan. Joram, E. (1998). Transforming obstacles into opportunity. Teaching and teacher education, 14 (2), 175-191. doi:10. 1016/S0742-051X(97)00035-8 Knott, P. (1979). Nonverbal Communication during Early Childhood. Communicating with Young Children 18 (4) 226-233 http://www. jstor. org/stable/1476648 Robinson, M. (2007). Child Development and Behaviour 0-8: A Journey through the Early Years. Maidenhead, UK: Open University Press. McCarthy, P (1996). Speaking Persuasively. Sydney: Allen & Unwin.
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