Describe why communication, language and literacy are important to children’s learning

6 June 2016

Communication is a term covering the exchange of information or news, involving eye contact and body language as well as speaking, listening reading and writing.

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Children learn to communicate from the time they are born, listening, using and reading body language and then babbling and developing speech as they grow. These skills are used throughout life and are very important for learning. Children need to have well developed communication skills so that they can quickly learn from adults. Communication and social skills are important for making friends. It is essential that children learn to understand others facial expressions and body language and to be able to work out how others are feeling and how to react to this.

It is important for children’s learning and development to have a good understanding of language, and to understand what others are saying. Learning to talk is essential so they can express how they are feeling and to let others know of their needs and to have their needs met. A young child who cannot speak or make themselves understood may become frustrated, and can result in behaviour such as biting or hitting out. Children use, enjoy and can further develop their language skills through role play.

As well as the spoken language children need to be able to think about words and use words to express their ideas. They can use this for problem solving and it is carried right into adulthood and through life. Children who have well developed language skills will find it easier when learning to read and sound words.

Reading and writing are essential skills in modern life. These are used often in everyday life, e.g. when shopping it is important to be able to read signs and labels and be able to work out values and amounts. Being able to read develops child’s vocabulary, this is a skill children will learn over a period of time.

Children who can read well will be motivated to learn. From an early age we can read to children to help nurture these skills. Children at school learn to turn the pages of a book and to read from left to right and then learn to read the words. Children can develop and use their imagination through books and reading, a skill that is carried through life for work and enjoyment.

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