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Communication and Language

What do we mean by speech, language and communication?

Speech refers to:

  • Speaking with a clear voice, in a way that makes speech interesting and meaningful
  • Speaking without hesitating too much or without repeating words or sounds
  • Being able to make sounds like ‘k’ and ‘t’ clearly so people can understand what you say

Language refers to:

  • Knowing and choosing the right words to explain what you mean
  • Joining words together into sentences, stories and conversations
  • Making sense of what people say

Communication refers to:

  • Using language or gestures in different ways, for example to have a conversation or to give someone directions
  • Being able to consider other people’s point of view
  • Using and understanding body language and facial expressions, such as:
    • Knowing when someone is bored
    • Being able to listen to and look at people when having a conversation
    • Knowing how to take turns and to listen as well as talk
    • Knowing how close to stand next to someone

What are speech, language and communication needs?

  • Difficulty in communicating with others
  • Difficulties saying what they want to
  • Difficulty in understanding what is being said to them
  • Difficulties understanding and using social rules

Speech, language and communication needs can occur on their own without any other developmental needs, or be part of another condition such as general learning difficulties, autism spectrum disorders or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. For many children, difficulties will resolve naturally when they experience good communication-rich environments. Others will need a little extra support. However, some may need longer term speech and language therapy support.

Nottinghamshire Language for Life 

Good speaking and listening skills are crucial. Children need them to do well at school and to make friendships. Much later on, good communication skills are vital for their careers, as well as their all-round wellbeing. Nottinghamshire Language for Life provides advice for everyone in Nottinghamshire, so we can all help our children learn to talk and communicate to the best of their ability.  

Top Tips

There are lots of things you can do to help your child's speech and language develop. Below are 7 top tips.

  1. Talk with me all the day – at bath time, meal times and in play.
  2. Sing songs and rhymes with me.
  3. Our best place is face to face.
  4. Listen to me, give me time- I have lots of things to say.
  5. Keep dummies for sleep times only.
  6. Switch off and talk with me.
  7. Share books with me.

Talking Tuesdays

Would you like even more handy hints, useful resources and challenges to try out with your child? Make sure you follow Notts Language for Life on social media, where they post regular updates including the Talking Tuesdays feature.

Twitter: @NottsLang4Life  Facebook: @nottslanguageforlife

As a school we share these Talking Tuesday Tips as a regular future in our Newsletter, on whole school Dojo and we retweet them on our school Twitter page. 

Hungry Little Minds

The Hungry Little Minds campaign launched in July 2019 by the Department of Education. This is a three-year campaign that aims to help parents understand that they have a big impact on their child’s learning and that reading, playing and chatting with them is a simple thing they can do to help them develop.

Many little things light up hungry little minds. Kids take everything in, and even the smallest things you do with them can make a big difference. They love it when you chat, play and read with them, even when they’re too young to understand everything. Whatever the time and wherever you are, you can turn almost anything into a game. This webpage contains simple and fun activities that you and your child can do together.

Tiny Happy People

Tiny Happy People can help you develop your child’s language and communication skills, so they get the best start in life. This website has ideas and activities which are easy to build into your daily routine. They’re quick and inspiring, but they’re also based on expert advice and evidence, and are proven to help your child’s development.

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