Reflections of what happened in early childhood center of early childhood education in NZ
He flipped through his own portfolio and when he found what he was searching for, he called out “Sydney!” Finally I got what he said. He was trying to tell me that he drew a picture of his sister Sydney and was saying that she is tall. Analyse It takes a lot of patience trying to understand what a young child is trying to communicate because their language skills are not yet developed. Hence, their pronunciation of words may still be unclear. Failing to understand what a child is trying to say may sometimes make them frustrated and altogether stop attempting to communicate. I was so conscious of this when I was talking to L and was worried that my inability to understand him might result in negative consequences. I am aware that patience and sensitivity are important professional responsibilities for a qualified teacher to have to support the development of children’s language and communication skills. Theories In the Teachers’ Council Fit to be a Teacher criteria, there is an item that applied to the anecdote I just had with L.
A teacher will interact with learners (students),and should at all times maintain high standards of sensitivity and compassion, to recognise and respect others as individuals and to care for the learning of those who are disadvantaged and those with learning difficulties (The Teachers Council "Fit to be a teacher" criteria ) ) Children use language for many purposes (Otto, 2010) such as telling stories that may be real from their own experiences, or contrived from their imaginations; directing stories; expressing pride; obtaining help when needed; sharing experiences in varied social settings; and developing conversational skills. However, teachers should be more patient with toddlers who are still developing their language skills and may have difficulty in doing so. Dismissing them from their attempts at communication will discourage them from trying again, but showing encouragement by giving one’s full attention will motivate them to find more ways to communicate their ideas. It is essential that toddlers get to be engaged in conversations no matter how little they may say. Piaget and Vygotsky, key people in the study of language and thought, believe that development will not take place unless children engage in rich, meaningful conversations with others. In doing so, they internalize language to more complex thinking (Neuman & Roskos, 1993). Act I have to always keep in mind that every child has the right to be heard. With toddlers who are in the process of developing their language skills and identities, they need more patience in being understood. I will encourage them to speak by giving them my full attention, looking for non-verbal cues to help me understand what they are trying to communicate. When they are successful in expressing their ideas, I shall gladly praise them to show that their attempt at communication was appreciated and considered a success, worthy to be celebrated. References Neuman, S. B., & Roskos, K. A. (1993) Language and literacy learning in the early years: An integrated approach, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Fort Worth, TX, pp. 27-31, 34-61. Otto, B. (2010). Language development in early childhood (3rd edition). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson. The Teachers Council "Fit to be a teacher" criteria, Retrieved on May 20, 2011 from http://kiyaana.co.nz/Teachers%20Council%20Fit%20to%20be%20a%2