Language Development. I have chosen to observe Kaitlin for my assignment focusing on Communication and Language. My reason for this is because I feel Kaitlins language is developing rapidly

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E100, TMA04

I work in a private nursery setting full time as an early year’s practitioner in the baby room. When relating to personal experiences in my assignment I will change all names to ensure confidentiality is maintained. I have carried out a number of observations to support my work and have received written permission from the child’s parents and authorisation from my manager. The Permission slips can be seen in Appendix 7

I have chosen to observe ‘’Kaitlin” for my assignment focusing on Communication and Language. My reason for this is because I feel Kaitlin’s language is developing rapidly and as Kaitlin’s key person I’m already familiar with her learning and development.

Part 1

I consider the four observations I have undertaken to be successful and believe it is equally important to be a non participant in an observation as it is to be involved. In my first observation which can be seen in appendix 1, as a participant I felt I could provide further learning opportunities for Kaitlin, when I asked Kaitlin “What do duck’s say?” she didn’t reply however after I sang the song and asked the question again Kaitlin replied “quack quack”. In Observation 2 (Appendix 2) Kaitlin points at her dinner and I explain to her that its soup and ask her to repeat what I have said. This is known as scaffolding, In study topic 3 it states that “scaffolding is linked to the notion of the Zone of Proximal Development and had been defined as the ‘contingent control of learning’” (Study Topic (ST) 3, Page 67) By scaffolding Kaitlin’s learning I am helping her to develop her vocabulary, communication and language skills through play and her own interests. (KU 1) (PS1)

I can see that Kaitlin is progressing really well and that her learning is moving forward as in observation 3 (Appendix 4) when I asked Kaitlin if she wanted to go and look at the other books, I know she listened to me and understood as she responded really well pointing and walking towards them. I also asked Kaitlin to choose a book she wanted to read, as Kaitlin was choosing a book she was thinking and deciding, this allows her to show personal preferences. Kaitlin now also seems to be imitating words a lot more and shows this when I’m singing as she repeats all the animal noises. According to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) practice guidance, Language for communication, Kaitlin now seems to be developing at 16-26 months stage as she is able to “use single-word and two-word utterances to convey simple and more complex messages and is able to understand simple sentences” (DfES 2008). As Kaitlin is 15months old this shows that she is communicating extremely well and her language seems to be developing rapidly. To support Kaitlin further I will continue to carry out observations and plan regular activities. (CS3)

I feel that the activities chosen were appropriate and not too difficult however still offered challenge. I realise that by establishing achievable goals will help children to develop a positive attitude. This is known as Mastery in learning. Study topic 3 states “research evidence suggests that children’s experiences in their early years are vital in that goal-orientation facilities mental health and develops a positive self-esteem” (ST3 Page 64)

Being a non participant in observation 4 (Appendix 5) is also important and benefits Kaitlin as it allows her to reflect on things she may have seen or heard, it also allows her to play and explore independently. Suzi Clipson-Boyles identifies this as “Major functions of talk” and states “allowing the exploration and development of ideas by externalising thought” (ST13, page 19). At the beginning this observation Kaitlin was pressing buttons on a phone, as it started to ring Kaitlin answered. This shows me Kaitlin is aware that when she pushes the buttons they will make a noise which demonstrates good understanding of ICT. “For most foundation stage children in the UK today, ICT forms a part of their everyday experiences.  Practitioners should acknowledge that ICT offers tools that have the potential to extend and enhance existing provision.” (O’Hara, M, 2009, page 189). (CS2)

Play is a key factor in children’s development. “There is substantial evidence that through play, children demonstrate improved verbal communications, high levels of social and interaction skills” (ST3, page 69) The early years guidance (DCFS, 2008) talks about the importance of play and “the need to consider the whole child in their learning reflects the holistic nature of children’s development” (ST11, page 110) I feel this has been accomplished, although the activities carried out in my observations are focused on communication and language Kaitlin was still able to attain all other areas of development.

From undertaking observations 1,2 and 3 (Appendix 1,2 and 4) I feel that they were  what I expected. This maybe because I was involved, planned the activities and guided Kaitlin. I believe Kaitlin has very good communication skills and interacted with me very well, Although Kaitlin didn’t interact with any other babies in any of the observations I feel this maybe because she likes to play alongside of others. Observation 4 (Appendix 5) didn’t go as I expected because Kaitlin only played with the toys for a short period of time then sat on a rocking chair, which wasn’t really appropriate for health and safety reasons. However Kaitlin was fully supervised at all times, seemed to have lots of fun and still benefitted as she associated the rocking chair with the nursery rhyme “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” and attempted to sing it. This also shows Kaitlin’s creativity as she was pretending and using her imagination.

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Working with parents is extremely important as regular discussions are needed to ensure that all children reach their full potential. “Parents are experts on their own individual child and their family culture, and practitioners offer expertise in this stage of children’s development and learning (Draper, L, 2009, page 271). I have shown and discussed these observations with Kaitlin’s mother and she has very kindly given me some feedback which can be seen in Appendix 8. (PS3)

(Words used, 1020)

Part 2

My reason for choosing communication and language is because from birth babies have a strong incentive to communicate ...

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