Communication - Informal Stage P1-3

Children at a very early stage of developing communication require people around them to be responsive to any attempts at communication. Interpreting behaviour as potentially meaningful is one important adult response.

To be responsive, adults need to attend very carefully to each child and treat all behaviour as potentially communicative.

Some children will be more intentional in their communication but not yet able to use conventional language. At this level, children will be developing ways of indicating what they like and dislike.

Some children will be beginning to use conventional communication, understanding or even using a few single words such as ‘more’, ‘finished’ and perhaps names of familiar people and objects.

The programme of learning is divided into three areas:

1. Responding

2. Interacting

3. Communicating

Communication - Semi-formal P4-8

Although the basics of communication are established before children reach P4, there is still a need for adults to interpret often unconventional communication attempts to help shape spoken words and eventually aspects of early literacy.

At this semi-formal stage communication is divided into:

• Speaking and Listening where children gradually build up their ability to understand and use words (spoken, signed or symboled).

• Inclusive Reading where children work on early literacy skills, learning to recognise and name pictures and symbols and eventually some written words. They are learning reading behaviour and handling and enjoying books. They may be able to pick out some words from the text in books, particularly books that are made especially for them.

• Inclusive Writing where early literacy skills include activities leading to writing and handwriting. Children begin with simple mark making, develop emergent writing and maybe instruct an adult who writes for them. They learn how to sequence an event or story and how to describe what is happening. In handwriting, they learn how to hold a pencil/ pen and make increasingly accurate marks on paper and/or to use the keyboard/ switches to ‘write’ on the computer. They learn how to write some conventional letters, especially those in their own name.