Early Years Podcast

Developing Key Skills Through Play

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Episode 9: The covid impact on children’s speech and language with Kate Freeman

Reading Time: 2 minutes

In this episode of the TTS Talking Early Years Podcast, Alice Sharp is joined by Kate Freeman, Speech and Language therapist, to discuss the impact of the covid pandemic on children’s speech and language.  
Kate explains how the word gap has become increasingly wider since the outbreak of COVID-19 due to factors such as mask-wearing, limited interaction, increased screen-time and social isolation.

Kate shares the areas of speech and language that have been impacted the most, and what techniques can be used to rectify some of the issues and challenges that both practitioners and parents face in narrowing the word gap.

Tuning in to the children’s interests and needs

Alice and Kate discuss the importance of practitioners tuning into the children’s interests and needs. Kate encourages practitioners to listen to and follow the children’s direction to initiate meaningful interactions, as well as not being afraid to be reactive and respond to children’s actions in the moment, where sometimes some of the most language-rich opportunities are presented.  

Back to basics

Kate also adds how important it is that we teach children to fully understand the importance of speech and language. Without this, children are unable to understand what others are saying, will struggle to engage others within their play and might struggle to form lasting relationships with peers. Suggesting simple ways to support this focus on language skills, Kate shares her top tips for practitioners to refocus and start at the very beginning.

Watch on YouTube

(The views expressed throughout this podcast are the speakers’ own, and TTS does not take responsibility for the views and guidance highlighted as part of this recording).

(Please note: When referencing the speaker’s views, theory and work for the development of your own materials, please ensure the academic reference of the speaker is cited).

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