301. 02 Understand How to Communicate with Children, Young People and Adults.

301. 02   Understand how to communicate with children, young people and adults.
Skills needed to communicate with children and young people.
Effective communication is a vital part of my role as a teaching assistant.   Children learn to communicate through the responses of others, if they feel that their contribution is valued they are more likely to initiate communication themselves otherwise they are less likely to do so.
Although it’s likely that we demonstrate effective communication skills every day without thinking it is worth reflecting on the ways/skills needed to communicate with children and young people.

Find opportunities to speak.
Make sure that pupils are given sufficient opportunities and time to talk.   Some children may lack confidence and need to be given a chance to put their thought together and then feel able to express themselves with adults.

Make eye contact and actively listen.
Make sure that if a pupil is talking, I give them my full attention.   If a pupil is talking to me and I say I am listening, but I am looking away and I am busy doing something else, this gives the child the message that I am not really interested in what they are saying to me.

Use body language and facial expression, and be approachable.
Make sure I show interest and react in a positive way to what pupils are saying. I also get down to their level when talking/listening to very young children as having someone towering over you can be intimidating and make the child feel frightened therefore they will not feel able to talk.

React and comment on what they are saying.
I sometimes repeat back to pupils to check my understanding especially if they use incorrect language. For example, if a child would say to me, I bringed my book in today,’ you have brought your book in today, oh fantastic, that means you can choose a new book to take home.

Be interested, responding and questioning to maintain conversation.
I always make children feel relaxed and...