Explain the skills needed to communicate with children and young people.
To communicate effectively with children and young people you have to be aware of their development ability. Find opportunities to speak to the child. Encourage the child to express themselves. Some children may have a lack of confidence and need more time to be able to express what they are trying to say. Encouraging a child to ask questions and offer ideas or suggestions shows the child you are interested and willing to talk to them.
When talking to a child or young person make eye contact. If you are not looking at the child who is talking it gives them the feeling you are not listening to them. If you have to find a quiet place to sit and talk to the child then so be it. This will show the child they have your full attention.
Using body language and facial expressions show your interest in what the child is doing or saying. Get down to the child’s level. If you are standing over a child it could make them feel intimidated. Smiling shows the child you are happy and their input is important. In our school we do “thumbs up”. If we do some work with a child we ask them if they found it enjoyable and interesting. We do thumbs up for yes and thumbs down for no. This enables us to understand the child’s likes and dislikes so we can improve their learning.
Being able to talk to the child at the correct level is very important. If, when talking to the child, you use big words the child may not understand. Asking the child to repeat instructions back in their own words shows you the child has understood. If a child happens to use the incorrect language for example “I bringed my reading book in today”, your answer would be “Well done! You brought your reading book to school so we could read.” Never tell a child they have said something wrong, word your answer with a praise and the correct way of saying it.