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Showing interest and building communication

Watch the interaction between a child and an adult.
Do you want the green tent? No! No? Or do you want the yellow tent? Yes! Oh you want the yellow tent? Yes. Very good. OK, so you’re getting the yellow tent. Again, with one finger. Very good, Dani. Good job. OK, now turn it over. There you go. Now take the moon. Green or yellow? Here, on the sky. Green or yellow? Do you want me to help you? You can do it. I know that you can do it. Come on. Turn it over. Green? Green! Green. Green. Green? Pa— Patri? Yes. Green. Oh, you want a green tent. Very good.
Good job, Dani. Very good. Now, do you want the yellow tent? Or would you like the green tent? The green tent. Very good. Now– hold on, let’s do the tent first. What do you need now? We need the rain drops. Yes. Right here. Hold it right there. There you go. There you go. Like this? Yes? Now turn it over. I’m just going to put this over here. Put this over here. No, not yet. Not yet. The glitter, not yet. Put some rain. Turn it over. This one, turn it over and paste it. This one. Like this. And put it– stick it– yes, very good. Very good. Now what do we need Dani? We need drops of rain. This.
[SINGING] Rain, rain, go away. Sprinkle. That’s right. OK, but we need more drops, more drops of rain. [SINGING] Rain, rain, go away. Dani, with one finger, remember? Very good. Yes. [SINGING] One little finger, one little finger, one little finger… drop. And the glue! Yes! And we can make drops. Very good, Dani. Yes, keep going. More drops. More drops. It’s raining a lot! A lot! [SINGING] It’s raining, it’s pouring, the old man is snoring. Where are you going? Ah, you want one of these. Of course you do. Very good. There you go. Put it right here. Put a sprinkle there. Sprinkle it right here, on the glue. Very good. There you go. Right here. Right here. Right here. Sprinkle, sprinkle.
Over here. Sprinkle, sprinkle. And your moon and your drops of rain. Very good. Oh, do we have a different white…? One? One? One? One? For their names. Thanks. Look at this. This is going to look beautiful. Good job, everyone. Look, everyone. Look at Dani’s. Look how beautiful it is. Michael, look at Dani’s. It’s so beautiful. Good job, Dani. Alex, do you like Dani’s? It’s very nice. I really like it. Your parents are going to love it. Do you like it? Yes. Yes, yes you do! Very good! Good.

Interacting is an important way of communicating.

When you interact with someone you are exchanging information. Through genuine and positive interactions, very young children learning English as an additional language are exposed to language in a way that is meaningful and enjoyable. By interacting with children in real situations, we are showing genuine interest and building communication.

In this clip of a Learning Time with Timmy class the children are making a craft. The children in the video are 2-3 years old and they attend English class for 1-2 hours once or twice a week. Their home language is Spanish. Watch and observe the interactions between the educators and the children.

  • What did you notice in these interactions? How did the adults show interest in what the children were doing?
  • Did the children say anything? Were they interested in what the adults were saying?
  • How were these interactions beneficial for the children’s language development?
  • What did you notice about the teacher’s tone of voice?

Share your observations below or make a note of them in your observation journal.

This article is from the free online

English in Early Childhood: Context and Communication

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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