To be effective communicators, we need to be able to use language and speech, but what do these terms mean?

Language is the ability to understand words and sentences so they we can follow what is being said to us.  It involves organising our thoughts and ideas using appropriate vocabulary into grammatically correct sentences ready for talking.

Speech is the ability to combine sounds together to say words.

Communication is the ability to say the right thing, at the right time, and in the right way.  It involves using speech and language skills to send the messages we want to convey to others and to understand the responses.

Non-Verbal Communication is the ability to understand and use gesture, body language, facial expression, our voice and situational clues to help communicate our message.

Speech, Language and communication Need (SLCN) encompasses difficulties children may experience with communication.  Some children may only have difficulties in one area whilst others may have problems in all three.

Here at Granby Nurseries, we monitor all children’s speech and language and support language by modelling.

Modelling is great for supporting expressive language.  At Granby we follow the child’s lead which helps improve their attention as we engage in activities of the child’s own interest, this also helps develop sustained shared thinking and improve children’s attention.

Modelling is based on 3 key principles:

  • Repeat – What the child has said correctly.
  • Emphasise – give emphasis to key words.
  • Expand – add 2-3 words to increase vocabulary.

Modelling should only be done when we feel it is natural to do so and we never interrupt the child or the flow of their conversations as it’s important to wait and listen before modelling back.


Elklan Aiming high with communication (2022) available at: Elklan Training Ltd


Share this