Communication and language development

Communication and language is one of the seven areas of the early years foundation stage and is used to assess children's ability to speak, pay attention, listen and understand. Children do this in range of ways including, listening to stories, responding appropriately to what people say, by articulating and expressing their feelings and developing their own narratives and connecting ideas or events.

Below you will find a range of practical articles and expert features that cover communication and language development to help you develop these skills and overcome challenges you might encounter. For more information on the EYFS you can download latest version of the statutory framework here.

Latest Practical

Communication and language: A rhyming artist

  • Judith Harris

Nick Sharratt is a prolific children’s author and illustrator famous for his rhyming text and colourful illustrations. The following activities use his work to develop children’s communication and language skills.

Communication and language: Feel the rhythm

  • Judith Harries, teacher based in Northampton

Explore the work of Giles Andreae and tap into rhyme as a source of fun and creativity. Use it to develop early literacy skills, including listening and phonics preparation.

Find quality time

Find quality time

  • Annette Rawstrone

It is important for parents to find the time to interact directly with their child whenever they can. That means ensuring too many other things do not get in the way, says Annette Rawstrone.

Catch the moment

Catch the moment

  • Hilary White

A trip or outing is full of new sights, events and experiences and by photographing them children can make sense of their memories. This also gives the practitioner a unique insight into their thinking.

Take your cue to get conversations rolling

  • Jenny Barber

In this Practical Pre-School Book extract Jenny Barber outlines how carefully considered interactions can be used to support children at different developmental stages, encouraging their confidence and ideas.

Quietly getting on with it

  • Joelle Bergin

It is important to develop a support plan for a child with hearing loss, so that all staff understand how practice and resources can be adapted to ensure he makes progress with learning, language and social interactions.

Latest Features

Debbie Giles reads Sammy Squirrel to her pre-schoolers.

How imaginative resources ‘motivate’ home learning

  • Maureen Lee, early years adviser to Best Practice Network

Find out how one setting sent ‘borrow bags’ home with children to help parents understand how they could support their ‘fundamental movements’ as a precursor to skills used in games and specific sports.

Extend schemas to make children feel empowered

  • Dr John Siraj- Blatchford is honorary professor at the University of Plymouth and partner of community interest company, SchemaPlay

A project in Walsall highlights how practitioners are successfully building upon children’s favoured schemes and schema to build in new challenges, extend learning and improve EYFS outcomes.

Children enjoy being active outdoors at the Old Station Nursery

Get ready for a fresh start in January

  • Karen Faux

It may come as a shock having to match your energy levels to the children’s when they arrive back after the Christmas break – so lay plans to get them outside and letting off steam, while supporting their learning and physical development.

Wrap up!

  • Karen Faux

'There's no such thing as bad weather – just inappropriate clothing,' as the saying goes. Use children’s colourful winter clothing as a link to many areas of learning.

Children at Chisenhale Primary School in east London (pictured) are also benefitting to a subscription to No>press>play

Living the moment

  • Sal McKeown

Discover how a new resource is helping pre-schoolers to develop a passion for the past with an audio experience that transports them to momentous events such as the Great Fire of London.

View all Communication and language development

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