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How to improve communication skills in children

Communication involves listening, availability, understanding, mutual respect and emotion.

a picture of children listening
Communication involves listening

The importance of communication has often been reiterated as a significant factor in improving human relations. In fact, communication begins before birth (during pregnancy) and continues through life as a child tries to interpret things around. Children even understand non-verbal communication like gestures, body movements and simple vocalization.


Bloom (1988) describes communication development as guided by the need for relevance (i.e., communicating what is important), discrepancy (i.e., seeking to establish consistency of information), and elaboration (i.e., learning more complex language skills).

It is said that communication happens on 3 levels: verbal, nonverbal and logical. It is important to note that the logical level of communication is only 7%, non-verbal communication occurs at 55% and 38% verbal communication.


“During the early childhood years, responsive families and teachers are critical for rich stimulation of children’s communication skills”

Communication skills play an important role in a child’s development, helping children to grow both biologically and psychologically. It helps to improve social intelligence which gives children the ability to collaborate with others. Increased levels of interaction and communication, will greatly improve their language skills and in turn impact their social intelligence. Acquiring language skills uplifts confidence in children and builds strong self-esteem. Here are 6 ways in which children can improve their communication skills.


1) Encourage conversation


The primary factor contributing to building communication in children is finding reason to have a conversation. When parents initiate conversation, it also works as a trigger for children to narrate their experience without inhibition. This can be encouraged either in the mother tongue or in English. Being bilingual at home enhances the proficiency of students developing language skills in school as well. Bilingual education also teaches children about cultural inclusion and diversity.


“The ability to communicate with peers and teachers is essential for students to access, engage, and progress in classroom activities and the curriculum. Participating and progressing in the general curriculum language arts, math, science, and social studies are essential for continued language development.”

2) Foster an environment of communication at home


If the environment at home is comfortable and fosters communication, then it becomes easier for children to communicate and improve language skills. Parents who are more proactive in providing platforms or reasons for children to explore their skills in communicating will benefit from a more interactive relationship with their child. Children need to shed their inhibitions to be able to express themselves freely and this can be achieved when the home environment fosters an environment that induces learning with a lot of love and encouragement.


“During the early childhood years, responsive families and teachers are critical for rich stimulation of children’s communication skills.”

3) Listen when your child speaks


It’s always the little things that are important. Listening to children when they speak is one of them. Listening makes children feel validated and genuinely heard. Offering timely responses also reinforce listening and encourages regular conversation from children.


4) Storytelling


Storytelling has always been a popular method for encouraging conversation, as it engages kids in a fun way. It helps children to think logically and improve imagination thereby improving creativity in storytelling. The storytelling dynamics offer creativity in linguistic expression both oral and written.


Appropriate stimulation helps all areas of children’s development (Bredekamp & Copple, 1997). Conversely, limited stimulation can significantly hinder a child’s development (Hart & Risley, 1995)

A poster of Tamil storytelling
Storytelling in Tamil

5) Read everyday


Reading to kid’s everyday increases vocabulary, listening skills, language skills and writing skills. It has a direct impact on the creation and cognitive skills of the child. It helps to improve public speaking skills, teaching the child to think faster when put on the spot and enhancing impromptu speaking skills. Besides improving communication in a big way, it also significantly builds concentration and memory in children. Reading is also a great way for children to learn important morals and values. It is known to improve social interaction among children as they learn how to be empathetic towards their peers and teaches them about respectful communication.


6) Journaling


The act of Journaling provides clarity in thinking and improved written language skills. It encourages children to improve their vocabulary and play around with words. It fosters uninhibited expression in the written form, providing emotional release and cognitive expression. It allows for children to let their thoughts flow, bringing to life their imagination in papers. It’s the perfect way to explore a flair for writing and aptitude for language.


Conclusion


Parents and educators who are proactive in their interactions and communication with children score well in language skills. While our communication with children must be stimulating, it should also be empathetic and respectful, a reflection of values and must uphold the ideologies of humanity. In the quest to improve language abilities in children, Learner Circle has designed some interesting language courses for children with a comprehensive curriculum. Kindly visit the website for more details : www.learnercircle.in



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Learner Circle is offering Language courses


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