English Language Arts Foundation: 1 - Communication Process

Topic: ELA1.2 - Demonstrate expressive communication

Expressive communication is the ability to put thoughts into words and sentences in a way that has meaning. Expressive communication refers to how one conveys a message to a communication partner by gesturing, speaking, writing, or signing.

Expressive communication includes using body language or vocals and leads to the ability to:
*Develop foundational skills for reading and writing
*Express individual needs, wants and feelings
*Collaborate with others

Looking Ahead to Kindergarten Family Engagement Special Populations
In kindergarten, students will begin to ask questions to seek help, get information, or clarify something that is not understood (K.SL.2.4). Additionally, they will use words, phrases, and strategies through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to literature and nonfiction texts to build and apply vocabulary (K.RV.1). Encourage families to:

*Use descriptive language (e.g. instead of “big” use the word “gigantic”).
*Demonstrate sentence structure and conversational cues by using simple language and complete sentences when talking to their child.
*Model communication skills while playing (e.g. talk/ask questions about what their dolls are doing).
*Repeat incorrect phrases correctly (e.g. child says, “We goed to the store today!” and the parent responds, “Yes! We went to the store today.”).
*Ask their child to predict what will happen next when reading.

Educators can:

*Provide children with pictures or objects and nonverbal cues that communicate their interests, wants, and/or needs.
*For DLLs, use labels with pictures and words. When possible, include English and small key phrases in their native language to make connections.

Powerful Practices
Across all developmental stages, educators can:

*Model appropriate verbal and non-verbal communications to expand on a child’s thoughts, interests, and vocabulary.
*Support two way communications with children by talking and sharing life experiences and individual interests.
*Encourage and allow children to elaborate on stories and conversations that prompt use of vocabulary by asking questions that require a full answer, and not a simple yes or no.

Infant

Engage infant in back-and-forth vocal play (e.g. imitate and repeat an infant’s babbling while using different tones)

Label facial expressions and emotions when talking with infant

Incorporate familiar and interesting objects and photographs in the environment

Model varied pitch, length, and volume of vocalizations to express wants and needs

Acknowledge and encourage infant’s vocalizations and communicative gestures including early sign language (e.g. during feeding, infant turns their head when they don't want the food on the spoon headed for their mouth)

Younger Toddler
Engage child in familiar books, songs, and fingerplays

Encourage child to identify familiar objects, people, and self by pointing

Model proper use of pronouns (e.g. you, me, mine, and I)

Repeat and expand on what child says without correcting their speech (e.g. “Cookie” can be expanded back to the child as, “Do you want a cookie?”)

Model verbalizing and using sign language to determine wants and needs (e.g. “I see that you want the toy.”)

Older Toddler
Engage child in familiar books, songs, and fingerplays and encourage participation with familiar words and phrases

Encourage child to verbally identify familiar objects, people, and self

Model proper use of word tense (e.g. “It snowed yesterday.” “I had carrots for lunch.”)

Encourage child to label actions with words (e.g. “What are you doing with the paint?”)

Encourage child to verbalize wants and needs (e.g. asking for help)

Younger Preschool
Encourage child to role play or retell familiar portions of a story or experience (may be inaccurate or not in sequence)

Repeat and expand on child’s verbal identification of familiar objects, people, and self with increased detail

Model and support proper use of word tense

When reading with child, ask simple questions about the story (e.g. “Why is the bear happy?”)

Older Preschool
Encourage child to role play or retell familiar portions of a story or experience with increased accuracy

Encourage child to give detailed descriptions of familiar objects, people, and self

Model and support proper use of word tense (e.g. child: “I goed to school yesterday.” Educator response: “Yes. You went to school yesterday.”)

When reading with child, ask them to predict what will happen next in the story