On MY Way

Communication Development

Language and Literacy
What’s happening? How can I tell? How can I help?
Their vocabulary and use of language is becoming fluent.
  • Children can speak fluently, with no articulation errors.
  • Children who are Deaf/hearing impaired are signing confidently.
  • Children who have limited/no verbal skills are able to use a communication device confidently.
  • Their vocabulary is increasing, and they use longer and more complex sentences.
  • They can keep their part in a conversation going by giving reasons, explaining choices, and asking questions.
  • Listen to children when they are communicating and show them that you are interested in what they are telling you.
  • Encourage them to tell you about their experiences and opinions.
  • Use prompts such as "and?" and "go on" to extend conversations and get them to finish their thoughts.
  • Involve Inuit children in culture and Inuktitut language programs, activities and events.
Their basic literacy skills and competencies such as reading, writing, spelling and typing are improving.
  • Throughout the middle years, children are getting better at writing, both on paper and on the computer.
  • Gradually, they get better at reading independently and confronting unfamiliar words.
  • They learn to spell words they use often first, and use known spelling patterns to try spelling words they don’t know.
  • Read to children as often as you can.
  • Encourage them to read things that interest them, and read aloud.
  • Encourage them to write as often as possible, and take an active interest in anything they write.
They are gaining understanding and use of complex and nuanced language concepts.
  • They can understand stories that are more and more complex.
  • They can identify when information is an opinion as opposed to a fact.
  • They can express ideas that are complicated, and can use colloquial speech.
  • Engage children in discussion and debate.
  • Explain the use of words with multiple meanings.
  • When explaining new concepts, try to link them to things or ideas they already know.
  • Encourage children to learn how to use the library and Internet for research.
What’s happening? How can I tell? How can I help?
Their verbal and nonverbal communication skills, such as talking, listening, and signing are improving.
  • Children are communicating with others in more sophisticated ways and for a range of purposes.
  • They have begun trying to express and communicate specific ideas and feelings to particular audiences or for particular purposes.
  • They are able to persuade by presenting a well-formed, convincing argument.
  • They can use visual aids to present information in an engaging manner.
  • Encourage and be receptive to communication that they initiate.
  • Use prompts such as "and?" and "go on" to extend conversations and get them to finish their thoughts.
  • Promote the use of their first language or traditional Indigenous language, and support them in learning a second language.
Their text and multi-media based communication skills are improving.
  • Children are expressing ideas using various media and materials.
  • They try to communicate ideas, concepts, observations, feelings and experiences through art.
  • They effectively use information and communication technologies for research, and to communicate their thinking.
  • They compose and send electronic messages.
  • Expose them to other forms of media, such as video, animation, and texting.
  • Encourage them to create printed documents and presentations.
  • Encourage them to explore online activities, while monitoring to ensure that they make safe choices.
Their social communication skills are more developed.
  • Children are able to start conversations with adults and children they don’t know.
  • They understand other points of view, and can show they agree or disagree.
  • They understand tone and body language, social conventions and most social cues.
  • They can carry out "small talk."
  • Eat meals together and focus on having good conversations.
  • Make conversations challenging, but always fun.
  • Encourage children to communicate with other children.
  • Provide children with opportunities for various types of social interaction.
  • Encourage them to initiate communication.
  • Encourage children to ask questions and ask for help when needed.