The development of children’s spoken language underpins all seven areas of learning and development. Children’s back-and-forth interactions from an early age form the foundations for language and cognitive development. The number and quality of the conversations they have with adults and peers throughout the day in a language-rich environment is crucial. By commenting on what children are interested in or doing, and echoing back what they say with new vocabulary added, practitioners will build children's language effectively. Reading frequently to children, and engaging them actively in stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems, and then providing them with extensive opportunities to use and embed new words in a range of contexts, will give children the opportunity to thrive. Through conversation, story-telling and role play, where children share their ideas with support and modelling from their teacher, and sensitive questioning that invites them to elaborate, children become comfortable using a rich range of vocabulary and language structures
Our main priority in Reception is to ensure the children are able to communicate effectively both with adults and their peers. There are many different aspects to communication which we assess using the Nuffield Early Language Intervention programme (NELI). NELI aims to develop children’s vocabulary, listening and narrative skills it also involves activities to develop phonological awareness and early letter-sound knowledge as foundations for learning to read.