3 Ways to Assess Communication Skills in the Early Years


Communication is one of the most important skills any child under 5 needs to learn. Without an ability to communicate well, children won't be able to learn effectively, form relationships with their peers or fulfil all their needs.

Of course, since school-like exams aren't appropriate for children of that age, you'll need to look at their actions to assess just how good their communication skills are. Here are three areas you can look at to form your assessment.

How They Engage with Others

One of the most overt ways children display their communication skills is by engaging with other children and adults. When assessing this engagement, make sure you look for both verbal and non-verbal communication in a range of circumstances. Children should be able to convey thoughts, feelings, senses and other messages, as well as debating and negotiating differing opinions and thoughts. They should also be able to use their communication skills across other subjects, such as describing shape and size in numeracy lessons. On the non-verbal side, look for cues like a child nodding their head to indicate that they're listening and understand what's been communicated to them.

How They Engage with Arts

Talking and conversation isn't the only way children show good communication skills. Another great way to assess these skills is by looking at how they engage with the fine arts and performing arts. On the fine arts side, look at the child's paintings, drawings and sculptures; what ideas are they expressing and how well are they showing those meanings? As for performing arts, look at how the child role-plays with others. Specifically, look for how they create and embody roles like 'daddy' or 'policewoman' and how they communicate with their peers during these sessions. Dance and music are also ways that children communicate their emotions and ideas.

How They Engage with Technology

Nowadays, technology is a common feature in the early years classroom—tablets, computers and more can all be a great part of the learning process. How children use this technology can be a great indicator of how well they can communicate. Can the child explain what they understand about these technologies? Can the child use devices to search for information, images and videos—and can they convey what they learned from this media? Does the child use apps on the devices to draw, type, make music or otherwise communicate ideas? All these actions are great signs that their communication skills are developing well.

Effective communication is a key outcome of the Australian Early Years Learning Framework. To learn more about the criteria above and other criteria for communication, confidence, well-being and more, take a childhood education training course.


22 May 2019

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