Communication, Language & Literacy
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.
What Communication, Language and Literacy means for children
Communicating and being with others helps children to build social relationships which provide opportunities for friendship, empathy and sharing emotions. The ability to communicate helps children to participate more fully in society.
To become skilful communicators, babies and children need to be with people who have meaning for them and 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 learn to talk by being talked to.
Babies and children use their voices to make contact and to let people know what they need and how they feel, establishing their own identities and personalities.
Parents and immediate family members most easily understand their babies’ and children’s communications and can often interpret for others.
All children learn best through activities and experiences that engage all the senses. For example, music, dance, rhymes and songs play a key role in 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 lots of opportunities to interact with others as they develop these skills, and to use a wide variety of resources for expressing their understanding, including mark making, drawing, modelling, reading and writing.
Source: EYFS Practice Guidance (DCSF, 2008)