Understand how to communicate with children, young people and adults 2.1, Explain the skills needed to communicate with children and young people. To be able to effectively communicate with children and young people you must first understand how to speak appropriately for the Childs age level, cognitive level or language ability. For example, while speaking to a child which has English as an Additional Language, you would need to speak slower, with lots more annunciation and facial expression. To show them that they have my full attention I would repeat what they had said, correcting where necessary but giving a great deal of praise. When children are very young, always bring yourself down to their level. Sit on the ground next to them or sit on a chair equal to the size of their own. Having an adult towering over them whilst in conversation must be very intimidating. This in turn helps the child have eye contact with you so they can be assured of your full attention. Looking around the room while you are talking to them is not showing that you are actively listening or that you are bored with the topic of conversation. Take the time to speak. This is especially important when dealing with a child or young person with confidence issues or problems in their home life. If necessary, this can be done in a quiet area, free from disturbances, where they know they have your full attention. Ask many open questions so that the child can fully open up and have a 2 way conversation with you rather than me doing all the talking. Build a conversation around any topic they are happy to chat about, giving suggestions or ideas. Positive and friendly body language and facial expressions must also be used to gain the child or young person’s trust and allow them to feel at ease with you. This will help them to feel that you are approachable and will help them to work through any problems that come up during the course of the day. Repeating correct language back to very young children or young people and especially where they are only just learning our language is imperative. They will get into habits of how to say and ask things in the wrong way without your help, for example, I have a child in my setting who has now been in this country for a few years. He regularly asked me ‘can I drink water’. After several times of replying, ‘yes, you can have a drink of water’ he now asks me in the correct way. Unfortunately, some children or young people do not have much stimulating conversation at home. I would take this into consideration and take more time with this person and especially use lots of different words which would hopefully build up their vocabulary.
2.2, Explain how to adapt communication with children and young people for: the age of the child or young person, the context of the communication and communication differences. The age of the child or young person – As I work in a primary school, I interact with children aged from 4 to 11. Their mental and bodily changes during this period is immense. For the younger children, I would keep my vocabulary simple so they could understand what I saying, speak slightly slower as they need a little more time to process what I am saying and come down to their level to give eye contact. Older children can be very self-conscious about how they look and how their bodies are changing. So, they should feel comfortable about coming to me for any advice or help or to be understanding when they have a request that in previous years have been declined. For example, girls of 11 asking to change for P.E in the toilets. I would also talk to the older children in a more mature fashion, showing them that I respect them as young adults. I would also use more complicated vocabulary as their understanding and comprehension is so...
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