Talking Together

Talking Together

28 March 2021

Tōku reo, tōku ohooho, tōku reo, tōku māpihi maurea, tōku reo, tōku whakakai marihi

My language is my awakening, my language is my treasure, my language is my prized possession.

Ministry of Education has released a publication and resources entitled “Talking Together Te Kōreroreo”. Alongside supporting children to develop social and emotional competence, we’ll explore how Educators/Nannies support tamariki to develop their communication skills. This month, let’s look firstly at what makes up communication.

Communication is multifaceted. It is described as being more than words. Speech, language, social interaction and early literacy skills are all parts of a child’s communication repertoire.

Speech: the words, rhythm and intonation of sentences are made up from speech sounds.

Social interaction: learning how to use language appropriately requires listening and taking conversational turns It includes using social conventions and learning to speak differently with those who are older, younger and more or less knowledgeable.

Emergent literacy: Learning the building blocks allows the development of reading and writing. This includes:

  • Concepts about print and books
  • Story comprehension and storytelling
  • Phonological awareness skills including identifying and manipulating units of oral language, such as in rhyming, letter-sound identification and breaking words into syllables.

Language: Oral language is made up of receptive (understanding) and expressive language and can be broken down into:

  • Words – labels for people objects, actions, concepts and the beginnings or endings to those labels that show how many or when.
  • Sentences – putting words together into a statement or question.
  • Stories – putting sentences together into a causal chain of events with a beginning, a middle and an ending.

Tamariki need to hear rich language and connect it to real world experiences in order to first understand then to speak (or sign). The way you talk to children matters!