Communication and Language Development
Communication and Language development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
Listening and attention: children listen attentively in a range of situations. They listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events and respond to what they hear with relevant comments, questions or actions. They give their attention to what others say and respond appropriately, while engaged in another activity.
Understanding: children follow instructions involving several ideas or actions. They answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events.
Speaking: children express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners’ needs. They use past, present and future forms accurately when talking about events that have happened or are to happen in the future.
Bolton Start Well – Early Years Communication and Language Development Service
Bolton Start Well Service includes a Communication and Language Development Team which is a collaborative venture between Bolton Council, Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group and Bolton NHS Foundation Trust. The team includes Speech and Language Therapists and Teachers who work with the early years workforce, parents and professionals to support the development of communication skills in all children including effective early identification of those at risk of speech and language delay.
Bolton Start Well Service provide professional development services for the early years workforce, to train and upskill practitioners to effectively support children’s communication and language development. You can check out the variety of professional development opportunities and training available in the courses section of the website.
Start Well Early Years Communication and Language Development Monitoring Tool
It is essential that all sectors and services are able to identify children at risk of speech and language delay. This requires a strong and systematic approach to assessment that gives accurate and robust data and demonstrates that children’s speech and language development is improving.
Using the communication and language monitoring tool will:
- The monitoring tool is for use with children aged 2 years plus.
- The practitioner should observe the child and gather significant evidence, as is normal good practice within the setting.
- The child’s development should be considered against the 4 aspects within the monitoring tool: Attention and Listening, Understanding Language, Talk and Speech Sounds and Social Skills.
- When using the tool with children who are learning English as an additional language, then practitioners should seek support from parents and those speaking their home language to assess their language skills in both their home language and English, and additional notes should be added in the comments box.
Please see the frequently asked questions to support you in using the monitoring tool and when to use other interventions e.g. WellComm Toolkit.