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Cognitive and language skills

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Cognitive and language skills Developmental psychology Claire wells "Cognitive development underpins all the other aspects of development as children start to explore and make sense of the world around them. It is closely linked to the development of language and communication skills as children interact with the people around them." There are many theories written on the subjects of cognitive development and language and communication. These theories vary in several ways, but they all seem to make the link between the too subjects. Childcare settings put these theories into practise in a lot of ways, sometimes without even realising it, just through conversation. Cognitive development Piaget's theories of cognitive development are that children learn through exploration of their environment. An adult's role in this is to provide children with appropriate experiences. He said that cognitive development happens in four stages. 1. Sensory - motor * Babies and young children learn through their senses, activity and interaction with their environment. * They understand the world in terms of actions. 2. Pre - operations * Young children learn through their experiences with real objects in their immediate environment. * They use symbols e.g. words and images to make sense of their world. ...read more.


Piaget believed that children are egocentric and separate from others for a long period of development (0-7 years) but gradually begin to socialise. Vygotsky thought differently, stating that children learn a sense of self through interaction with others. Piaget said that adults provide the stimulants and environment to learn but too much interference can damage a child's natural development. Vygotsky believed that social interaction is crucial. The adult role in teaching is very important e.g. providing assisted learning. Vygotsky also said that language is a tool for thought whereas Piaget believed that thought develops independently of language. Both men have been extremely influential to childcare today. In my current placement, in the reception class, children are shown what to do with constant assistance offered. But they are also encouraged to attempt things alone with assistance given only when required. In my baby placement, children were encouraged to play together as well as being left to play independently and explore their environment. All childcare settings offer a wide variety of activities to encourage cognitive development. Babies will be given puzzles including colour, shape, words, young babies are constantly developing cognitive skills as they take in the world around them, all activities will help gain more knowledge and in turn language. ...read more.


Exploration * Toys and other interesting objects to look at and play with such as activity centres. * Sounds to listen to including voices, music, songs, rhymes, and musical mobiles. * Noise makers such as rattles, simple musical instruments * Construction toys such as wooden and plastic bricks like Lego * Natural materials like water, sand, play dough. * Creative materials like paint. * Outings like visits to the park. * Animals, including trips too a farm. Description * News time * Recording events * A variety of books and stories. Conversation * Talking about their day and experiences. * Talking during imaginary play activities such as role-play. * Talking about special events such as a birthday. * Talking whilst doing activities. Discussion * Problem solving activities * Follow up to activities, like after a story * Co-operative group work. * Games and puzzles * Appropriate television programmes Instruction * Preparation before an activity. * Explanation of what to do * Instructions during an activity to keep the child on task. * Step by step instructions. Language is encouraged in all sorts of ways, all childcare settings encourage language just by talking to the children, along with language comes cognitive development as the children learn more about the world around them through conversation, instruction, exploration and discussion. ...read more.

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