Parents and other adults who come into the school are more likely to give beneficial support if communication is strong and effective – this, in turn, benefit pupils. Communication takes many different forms, from talking to letters and memos; for a child care workers is very important to develop good communication skills so they can communicate effectively. WHY PEOPLE COMMUNICATE? There are many reasons why people communicate such as: * To give and receive information * To give and receive instructions Discuss a situation * Make a point or outline a concern * Express a need * Negotiate * Develop learning 1. 2 EXPLAIN HOW EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION AFFECTS ALL ASPECTS OF YOUR WORK Effective communication is the key area for developing relationships with others and also covers many different forms of communication. It is a two-way process. The person communicating has to send the right message, but also needs to make sure that it is being correctly received and understood by the other person or people.
Communication involves talking or verbal communication, and non-talking or non-verbal communication. To communicate effectively you will need to: * Be very clear about what you are trying to say * Ensure that the person you are talking to understands what you are saying to them * Showing respect and considering the other child’s or adult’s point of view * Have a rapport with the child or adult you are communicating with * Taking time to listen to others * Being clear on key points Maintaining a sense of humour (laughter can be a good icebreaker and is also a great way of relaxing and relieving stress) * Find opportunities to speak (some children lack confidence and need to be given a chance to warm-up first so that they feel able to do so) * Give eye contact and actively listen (if you look away or are busy doing something else, this gives the recipient the message that you are not really interested in what they are saying) * Use body language and facial expressions, and be approachable(for example, with very young children, get down to their level) * React and comment on what they are saying (you may need to repeat back to pupils to check on your understanding * Be interested, responding and questioning to maintain conversation so that they can build up an understanding about how it works * The age of the child or young person ( children of different ages will require varying levels of attention) The benefits of good communication are: * Your relationship with the children * Your relationship with colleagues * Your relationship with parents 1. 3 EXPLAIN WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO OBSERVE AN INDIVIDUAL REACTIONS WHEN YOU ARE COMMUNICATING WITH THEM?
When communicating with children or adults it is important to take account individuals feelings and what they want to say. You can do this by carefully observing a variety of reactions such as: * Facial expressions and eye contact * Body language: posture and actions or gestures which help to convey meaning * Tone of voice: this can alter the meaning of what has been said * Pauses * Turn taking * Take account of culture and context, such as where English is an additional language * Build a rapport by showing understanding, respect and honesty It is thought that more than 70% of messages are conveyed through non-verbal ways. NON-VERBAL REACTIONS Facial expressions They can be a way to find out how someone feels.
Some facial expressions have the same meaning all over the world, but some cultures inhibit the expression of certain emotions, such as anger or disgust. EYE CONTACT People’s eyes can express a wide range of emotions. People may have intense eye contact because they are trying to understand you. However, some cultures or people may avoid eye contact when they do not understand or agree with you, want to avoid showing their feelings or fear negative feedback. Eye contact has five important functions in communications: 1. It regulates the flow of conversation 2. It controls intimacy in a relationship 3. It gives feedback 4. It express emotion 5. It informs both speaker and listener BODY LANGUAGE Your body language can often indicate your attitudes and emotions. If the person you are communicating with has arms crossed over their chest, this may indicate anger or tension (closed position = communication barrier) * If they lean forward with separated arms and legs, this communicates warmth and friendliness (open communication) * Indifference to your communication may be expressed through shoulders shugs, raised arms, and outstretched hands * Clenched fists and hunching may convey anger * Slouched shoulders may convey a lack of confidence * A posture with the shoulders back in a relaxed position makes it more likely that others will view you as self-confident GESTURES It is important to learn to observe and understand as much as you can about gestures of the adults and children you are communicating with. * People often use gestures such as head and hand movements to reveal or conceal feelings.
They can use them to add emphasis, to illustrate points, and to manage turn-taking * A nod may encourage others to continue talking. Some of these gestures may be used as part of a signed language – such as Makaton – or as an aid to verbal communication in a noisy environment, such a the floor of a busy factory. TOUCH It is one of our most basic forms of communication and it is associated with comfort. It is also a non-verbal communication. The amount of everyday touch which we will allow people to have with us is also culturally determined. VOICE TONE Paralanguage is the way in which language is spoken. By altering our tone of voice or changing its pitch, we can convey different emotions. An example of paralanguage is whispered speech.
Paralanguage features include the tone of voice (such as flat or bright), the tempo (fast or slow), and the way in which we emphasise certain words. 2. 2 DEMONSTRATE COMMUNICATION METHODS Effective communication happens when the right method is used to send a message so it can be received and understood. Early years practitioners need to know about a range of communication methods. They should also be skilled at identifying the communication and language needs, wishes and preferences of children and adults in the setting. Children and young people’s care settings are used by people from a diverse range of backgrounds who will want to communicate in different ways. Finding out about each individual’s language needs, wishes and preferences is an important part of your role.
You can do this by: * asking parents whether their children have particular language or communication needs * reading reports and notes that provide information on a child’s * speech and language development, learning difficulties, disabilities (such as hearing or visual impairment) or physical conditions that affect communication abilities (for example, cleft palate) * being aware that an adult or child’s culture, ethnicity and nationality may affect their language preferences and needs * observing the children and adults who use your setting to see how they use their communication and language skills * asking your supervisor or mentor, senior staff and specialist professionals (such as speech and language therapists and SENCOs) for information, advice and support when communicating with children or adults who have special communication needs.
You may need to communicate with adults (parents, work colleagues, visitors or other professionals) who have special communication needs as a result of a hearing or visual impairment, or because English is not their first language. Meeting an individual’s needs, wishes and preferences Talking is not the only way of communication with adults and children in a setting. There are different ways of communication that may be used during the day, such as: * telephone * email * video conferencing * letters * memos * sing language * interpreting 2. 3 HOW AND WHEN TO SEEK ADVICE ABOUT COMMUNICATION There may be situations in which you feel unsure about how you should communicate with a child or adult. Perhaps you will be aware that you are struggling to communicate effectively with somebody.
In situations like these, you should seek advice and obtain support. You can do this by: * talking to your supervisor, mentor or line manager about the difficulty – ask for their advice about how to deal withthe problem * talking to communication or language support specialists (teachers, psychologists or speech and language therapists) who work at or spend time in your work setting. When to look for support * When you are anxious about approaching an individual * When you are not sure how to deal with a situation * When child uses another language * When you want to improve your relationship with an individual * When communication is not effective * When you feel communication is not effective If you want to learn how to communicate in a way such as signing or an individual’s home language * If you find out an adult or child has communication needs Where to look for support * Always talk first to the line manager, who may be able to advise you or work with you to seek support * Then she/he will advise you where to find support, and will probably be the person to find appropriate support if it is external * If you work in a children’s centre you are likely to have support services to help both children and adults develop their communication skills BE ABLE TO REDUCE BARRIERS TO COMMUNICATION Knowing about different barriers to effective communication will enable you to avoid potential difficulties and adapt your communication approach when this is necessary.
Barriers to communicate are things that interfere with a person’s ability to send, receive or understand a message. These may be physical, organisational, personal, to do with language and culture or to do with the presentation of information. Attitudinal example Language and culture WAYS TO REDUCE BARRIERS TO EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION Barriers to communication can often be overcome, or at least reduced by making changes to the environment, adapting your approach or by using support services such as SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator). Adapting the environment Environmental changes might include: * replacing poor lighting with brighter lighting * reducing background noise or creating some quiet areas putting up multilingual posters and displaying signs clearly * fitting electronic devices such as induction loop systems for hearing-impaired people. Adapting your approach to communication In order to improve communication, early years practitioners can adapt their approach by: * making sure they can be seen clearly, facing both the light and the person they are talking to * making sure their mouth is visible when speaking * minimising background noise * using eyes, facial expressions and gestures to communicate as necessary and appropriate. Timing Speaking clearly and slowly, and repeating or rephrasing what you say can make communication more effective for some children and adults.
The speed or pace of communication may need to be slower if a person has a hearing or visual impairment, a learning disability or is anxious and confused. It is also important to allow time for the person to digest your communication and to respond. This can mean making silences comfortable while the person works out how to reply. Using support services and specialist devices Early years practitioners should understand the language needs and communication preferences of the children and adults with whom they work. If a child or adult has difficulty communicating in English or has sensory impairments or disabilities that affect their communication skills, specialist communication support may be needed.
Learning a few words of another person’s language or developing some basic sign language skills can really help an early years practitioner to establish a positive, supportive relationship with a child and their parents. HOW TO ENSURE THAT COMMUNICATION HAS BEEN UNDERSTOOD There are various ways that you can find out if your communication has been successful. If you can do this, it can help to solve any issues that arise and stop barriers from developing. Active listening Active listening involves paying close attention to what the other person is saying, while also noticing their non-verbal communication. People who are good at active listening also tend to be skilled at using minimal prompts. These are things like nods of the head, ‘Mm’ sounds and encouraging words like ‘Yes, I see’ or ‘Go on’.
Skilful use of minimal prompts encourages the person you are communicating with to keep speaking or to say a little more. Clarifying or repeating You can ensure that your communication has been understood by clarifying (repeating back, summarising or rephrasing) aspects of what the person has said during the conversation. You could say something like, ‘Can I just check that you meant …? ’ or, ‘Do you mean …? ’ You should try not to clarify too often in a conversation as this will interrupt the speaker’s flow; it might also make them think you are ‘parroting’, which may appear insincere. 3. 4 SOURCES OF INFORMATION AND SUPPORT OR SERVICES FOR MORE EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION
Royal National Institute for the Deaf (RNID): They give support to people with hearing and sight loss with agencies in different areas. Association of Sign Language Interpreters Qualified in sign language professionals help people who are hard of hearing to communicate. Royal National Institute for the Blind Agencies in different areas give visually impaired people support in communicating. Teaching Development Agency Have courses to support teaching assistants working with children in schools. Common Assessment Framework (CAF) Give practitioners a right to seek support in communicating with parents and children who have specific needs. Department of education
The government website or your local authority website gives information about local agencies that will help to communicate with families from a variety of cultures and religions. BIBLIOGRAPHY Children & Young People’s workforce by Heinemann Pages 2-20 www. collinseducation. com/resources/hsclevel2chapter1. pdf Pages 1-15 PRESENTED BY MONICA BELALCAZAR INTRODUCTION TO COMMUNICATION UNIT SHC 1. 2 CYPW L2 KNOWLEDGE TASK PART TWO 4. 1 WHAT IS CONFIDENTIALITY Confidentiality is not about keeping secrets; it is about protecting an individual’s right to privacy. You may obtain private, personal information from children or parents as part of your work role.
As an early years practitioner you have a duty to: * keep personal information about children and families private * only share information about children and families with those who have a right to know or when a parent has given permission. Your workplace will have a confidentiality policy that sets out the rules and procedures on sharing confidential information. You should read this and make sure that you follow it in your practice. You may be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement as part of your employment contract. Again, you should have a clear understanding of what this means in practice. Cross reference with TDA 2. 2 assessment criteria 3. 5 4. 3 SITUATIONS WHERE CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION MIGHT NEED TO BE PASSED ON There may be times when you have to reveal what you have been told, or have seen, to a more senior person at work or to an external organisation.
A parent, child or colleague’s request that you maintain confidentiality can be overridden if: * what they say suggests that a child may be at risk of harm * they reveal information that can be used to protect another person from harm * a court or a statutory organisation, such as OFSTED, asks for specific information about a child. * If a child needs additional support from other professionals * If a child is suspected to be in a situation that risks their safety * If an adult has disclosed information that may raise concerns over their ability to carry out daily duties in your setting * If an outside body such as Ofsted requests to see an adult’s or child’s records When should you seek advice about confidentiality It is best to treat everything you learn about children and their families in your workplace as confidential information; it is advisable to check with your supervisor before you pass on confidential information.
Similarly, it is always best to tell your supervisor if you receive any information that concerns you. If someone wants to tell you something ‘in confidence’, you should say that you may not be able to keep the information to yourself because part of your job involves safeguarding children’s welfare. It is then up to the person to decide whether to tell you or not. Always do this in an area where nobody else can overhear what you are saying. It is better to seek advice verbally rather than using communication such as email, which other adults could access. BIBLIOGRAPHY Children & Young People’s workforce by Heinemann Pages 2-20 www. collinseducation. com/resources/hsclevel2chapter1. pdf Pages 28-29