Defining Early Communication
Early communication is a phrase that can be interpreted differently depending on the context…
1. It can refer to the history of communication. Think cavemen & Stonehenge.
2. It can refer to the beginnings of a child’s language development, including a child’s first sounds, words & sentences. Speech language pathologists sometimes offer children language development support as seen in the picture at the right.
3. It can also refer to an exchange of information between two or more people, involving at least one of early childhood age. For the purposes of this site, early childhood is 8 years & younger
In this third context, an example would be an everyday conversation between either an adult-child (above) or a child-child (picture right) in which others may or may not be present. It also includes a child’s communication with themselves, such as thinking silently or aloud.
Chirp Early Literacy explores all aspects of early communication. Specifically, we are interested in what makes it distinct & what makes it effective.
How is child communication distinct from adult communication?
As adult caregivers relate to children, there is a sense of responsibility simply because there is a difference in developmental stages. What you see, how you interprete & respond will be unique not only because you are a unique individual, but also because you have more life experience.
An adult’s awareness of these differences can significantly impact communication, & more specifically, it’s effectiveness. Effective early communication includes taking turns, where both parties are participating in telling, listening & responding. Organizations like LENA study the role of this specific aspect of communication as it relates to child development.
For tips on how to communicate with your child during the first two years, click here.
What makes early communication effective?
As with effective adult communication, defining effective early communication is complex & impacted by many factors such as…