Describe How to Communicate with Babies

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In this essay I am going to use examples from my placement to describe the different methods of communicating with infants and young children. It is important for the child care workers to understand how to communicate with babies and children under three in order to be able to interpret their needs and respond to them. Language is made up of four areas which include Phonology, semantics, grammar and pragmatics. In this essay I will give a description on each of these terms and look at the stages of communication with babies under three. This will include behaviourist and nativist theories, baby signing, communication activities and other alternative methods of communication. Phonology is the understanding and having the ability to pronounce speech sounds. Phonetics is the basis for phonological analysis. This is the production of all human speech sounds regardless of language. Phonology is the basis for further work in morphology, syntax, discourse, and orthography design. Analyzes is the sound patterns of a particular language by determining which phonetic sounds are significant and explaining how these sounds are interpreted by the native speaker. Semantics is to have and understanding of the meaning of words and how different words can be used as alternatives. Grammar is when a person can understand the order in which words fall to make grammatical sense. To have knowledge and understanding of the rules of grammar. Pragmatics can be described as the basic rules of communication. Whilst engaging in conversation, communicating effectively involves turn taking and starting and finishing conversations. A baby from birth to four weeks use a cry to gain attention for basic needs to be tended to, such as needing feed or feeling tired. As a secondary care giver within a day care setting usually become turned to the children’s different cries and can often tell by their cry what they need. At one to three months baby becomes more alert to sounds and voices around them, a familiar carer’s voice can on occasions comfort baby. From six months up to approximately nine months baby becomes more vocal and begins to make more ‘cooing’ noises and eventually may begin to say ‘mama’ and ‘dada’ as they are near 9 months. It is important for the primary and secondary carers to encourage the child to develop further in their language and offer plenty of praise; this will help build their self-esteem. By one year old, baby becomes alert and familiar with their name and has an understanding of approximately 20 words. The birth to one year is known as the pre-linguistic stages. At one year and six months, child begins to form familiar words which adults can recognise and understand. Within my work placement for 0-1 year olds, part of my role was to encourage children to extend their vocabulary for example; a child may see a picture of a red ball in a book, they may point and say “ball”. I would then praise them and go to encourage them to identify it as a “red ball”. I would use some repetition to help them learn. Between eighteen months and twenty four, child begins to join words together, by their second birthday child may have a word vocabulary of up to 200 words. A child of two to three years, begin to use plurals within their expanding vocabulary. From birth it is common for adults to adapt to using a simple language known as ‘motherese’ the adult speaks in a soft tone whilst using lots of facial expressions and eye-contact. It also involves lots of repetition such as; ‘mama, mama’ and ‘dada, dada’. As a child care practitioner within a baby setting I would often use ‘motherese’ and lots of repetition to encourage and promote language and communication skills. Baby massage is also beneficial as it allows opportunity for carer and baby to communicate and bond. As parent is giving baby a massage they can gain eye contact, use ‘motherese’ whilst giving baby lots of soothing and positive facial expressions. Examples of activities within...
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