Describe how to communicate with children using both verbal and non-verbal methods of communication by describing here situations as examples from your placement to highlight these methods. M1 Explain why communication skills are important to develop relationships with children in a placement setting. Give reasons to clearly support your explanation. D1 Evaluate your own communication skills when developing relationships with children in a placement setting by discussing relationships with children in a placement setting by discussing four of your strengths and four of your weaknesses in this area.
Include a plan of how you intend to continue to develop your strengths and improve your weaknesses. P2 1. Situations from my placement that highlight verbal and non verbal communication methods was for example with Abigail aged 2 1/2 years. She is a very shy, quiet and timid girl. Thus, I did not use a loud voice when talking to her. At first I played with her doing puzzles. I smiled and expressed genuine pleasure when she tried to interact with me, positioned myself at her level and made a non-threatening eye-contact.
At first I avoided asking her lots of questions and acknowledged her communications by answering or responding rather than simply giving praise. All of this paints a picture of openness and care for the child. Therefore she began to speak to me and so I listened to her carefully and responded to her too. By time, even if she remained shy, she began coming near me to talk to me even when I was not near her. She wanted me to go and play with her. She enjoyed also playing with puppets. Sometimes children who are reluctant to talk will say something to a puppet or cuddly toy.
2. Another situation is that of Dylan aged almost 3 years. He has speech problems comparing his age. I used puppets with him, because puppets help children talk and listen. Also, puppets help children because children who are not comfortable talking in front of others can use the puppet to talk for them. I played with him by using telephone toy too. This encourages him to speak and talk. He says “Hello”, “bye mummy”. Therefore this is the beginning of having real conversations as he grows older.
Also I tried to include him when the other children are playing role-play. Role-play enables children to practice their communication and language skills and during the role play, sometimes I also joined in to extend learning. They started to play that they were on the bus and they all wanted to be the bus driver and I said to them one at a time. Then I played that I was an old lady with a stick in my hands going on the bus and there were not enough chairs, thus the old lady ( that was me) had no place were to sit . I said “Where can I sit?
” “There is no chair for me”, and Dylan stood up, said “here”, and gave me his chair. They learned that we have to show respect to old people on the bus and that we have to give them were to sit because they are old people and cannot stand up while the bus is driving. 3. Another situation was with a baby from the nursery. His name is David and he is 13 months old. Although he is still very young, he can also communicate with the adult for example when he smiles, makes noises, uses facial expressions, makes eye-contact …
He also uses his hands to point, touch and pull objects. He can follow simple instructions such as when I say “wave bye bye” and he waves bye bye. But he is still too young to join in with nursery rhymes and songs and to respond to simple commands. Babies can communicate in a non-verbal way with adults and they can also learn language at an early age provided that they are given stimulation with speech and thus they will develop through the milestones of communication with few problems. The rate of development may vary from child to child for a variety of reasons.
A reason could be stimulation. Children who are not given any stimulation may have speech difficulties. This is the case of David. When he goes home from the nursery his mother feeds him and wants him to sleep so she can have a rest after work. Thus, David does not have that much opportunity to talk and to learn. Thus he remains back with his verbal communication. Babies learn to talk by making sounds. So I helped David to do this by talking to him for example I said “Let’s say hello to the mirror. Now let’s say hello to the window”.
I helped him also by listening to sounds for example when I sang to him. Thus he can begin to learn to practice sounds himself and copy sounds made by me and of the other carers. If sounds are not made around the baby, he will not learn to speak very well in the future. Babies need to be stimulated by carers and by parents too in order to develop their language. I tried to do my best with David. I listened to him, was patient, talked directly to him. I read stories to him. I showed him picture books provided by the nursery.
These picture books had images of objects with which babies are familiar with such as an apple, a banana… I also sang nursery rhymes and played finger rhyme games such as “peek-a-boo). He smiled and I knew he was having fun while he was learning too. M1 Communication is a two-way process. It involves trying to understand the thoughts and feelings the other person is expressing, and responding in a way that is helpful. This means that to communicate well a person needs skills in listening to, observing others and understanding their messages.
Also, the person needs to get his/her own ideas and feelings across so that they can be helpful. These skills are part of everyday social life, but when a person is faced with someone who is upset and that needs his/her support, especially a child, that person has to think carefully how to respond in the best way possible. Verbal communication is the interactive part of the communication process which involves listening and responding to what others are saying. For effective speaking and listening, the adult/teacher will need to have time to hear, think and respond.
Children will usually find it easier to speak than to listen and many of them need to learn to listen to others. For communication to be effective between the teacher and the children, the teacher will need to show that she is listening to them and valuing what they are saying. Sometimes this can be difficult in a busy classroom, particularly if the teacher is working with very young children who all want to speak at once. The teacher will need to acknowledge that the child is speaking to her and she has to make sure that she responds to him/her, even if the teacher cannot do this straight away.
The teacher can encourage children to communicate effectively with others by for example making sure that the teacher actively listens and responds to what children are saying, use open ended questions so that children need to give full answers. Also, by teaching them to reflectively listen, or repeat back what they have heard. This will encourage them to check their understanding. A lot of communication goes on without actually talking too. This is called non-verbal communication.
The expression on a person’s face, how they move, their tone of voice, are all communications whose meaning depends on the person’s culture. For example, in some groups a side-to-side nod of the head means “yes”, in other groups it means “no”. It is important to think about whether the teacher’s non-verbal communication is helping the child to feel comfortable. Many adults change their behaviour when talking with children so as to help them, but some block communication through a bossy or severe manner, or lack of respect for the child.
The tone of voice is important in communication. Sometimes people speak in a loud or harsh voice without being aware of it. This makes the child think that the person is angry with him or her, or is unsympathetic. In some communities adults use a special tone of voice for speaking to children, more high-pitched or quieter, or more sing-song than with another adult. This shows that the adult is sympathetic and helps the child feel safe. Facial expression is important too. If the adult looks bored, worried or annoyed while children talk, they will soon stop.
The adult/teacher’s expression should change according to what the child is expressing. If the adult smiles when this is not appropriate, for example, when the child talks about something sad, the adult will seem unkind or not interested. Jokes, smiles and laughs can help a child to relax and begin to trust the adult. However, sometimes people smile or laugh when they are embarrassed or do not know what to say. It is important to recognize what makes the adult uncomfortable or embarrassed, so that he/she can avoid reactions that will seem unsympathetic.