Learning to communicate from a young age will give your child a flying start when it comes to education. Children are actively encouraged in school to discuss their work, explore ideas and talk about how they learn. They use their speaking and listening to skills to socialise and work colaboratively with other children.
Just as children have to be taught how to read and write they have to be shown how to talk and how to listen. Children need to understand not just what is being talked about but how to join in appropriately and use the type of language that is right for the situation - formal, friendly, loving, respectful, loud, quiet etc. Body language is also vital for good communication. Making eye contact, nodding in agreement and showing interest are all skills children need to learn.
You are your child's key role model so they way that you talk to them is very important.
If they get mixed up with the words they use you can repeat what they have said back to them modelling the correct way to say it rather than drawing too much attention to their mistakes.
Use whatever you are doing together as an opportunity to talk to each other whether it's a shopping trip to the supermarket or watching a television programme together. Have a conversation about what is happening or what you are doing, use interesting words and talk about what they mean. We ask questions all the time but did you know that questions are really useful in helping your children to develop their communication skills? It is very easy to ask a question that will have "yes" or "no" as the answer but changing it slightly will mean that your child will have to give you a fuller respons using more language.If you say "Did you enjoy school today?" then your child can may say "yes" but if you ask "Tell me something you enjoyed doing at school today" your child will give you a much more detailed answer which will lead on to a longer conversation.