Language acquisition in infants and toddlers starts from their communication with the environment. Indeed, the relationship between infants and their caregivers plays an essential role in language development (Child Development Division, 2012). The initial stages of children’s development involve non-verbal communication such as smiling, cooing, crying and gestures to express their needs to adults (Child Development Division, 2012). Teaching infants and toddlers a language require adjustments to the learning environment, materials, and interaction methods. For example, the background noise should be moderate to avoid distractions from communication and learning (Child Development Division, 2012). The materials used for teaching should be exciting and easy to comprehend. Moreover, tone of voice and sentence structure should also be adjusted when interacting with children (Child Development Division, 2012). A friendly environment and proper materials allow for simplifying the language learning process for children.
The teaching methods used by teacher Keesha in the video were based on the four main principles. First, the room where children were playing with the teacher was bright and quiet, which corresponds to the recommendations of the California Infant/Toddler Curriculum Framework about creating a favorable environment (Child Development Division, 2012). Second, Keesha used an avocado as a material to elicit children’s verbal and non-verbal responses to this object (Head Start, 2020). Third, she used clear explanations, simple sentences, and a motherese tone of voice for communication. For example, she kindly described to the children the colors of the inside and outside when they opened the fruit. Fourth, teacher Keesha applied some guiding principles recommended in the Curriculum Framework. She tried to comment on their actions and encourage attempts of every child to express an opinion about avocados. Overall, teacher Keesha’s short lesson illustrates how proper communication with toddlers can be helpful in language acquisition and understanding.
Child Development Division. (2012). Language development. In J. McLean, T. Cole, & L. Duerr (Eds.) California infant/toddler curriculum framework (pp. 83-96). California Department of Education.
Head Start. (2020). Exploring avocados. Web.