Early Years Podcast

Developing Key Skills Through Play

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Episode 3: The importance of quality interactions with Olivia Kirkby

Reading Time: 2 minutes
During this episode of the TTS Talking Early Years Podcast, Alice Sharp and Olivia Kirkby explore the importance of quality interactions in the Early Years and the role practitioners must play in encouraging these interactions.  
From open-ended questions, positive reinforcement to practitioners self-evaluating and reflecting on their own communication, Olivia and Alice suggest various practical ways to achieve quality and effective interactions that will form the foundations for language and cognitive development.

Effective interactions:

The number and quality of the conversation’s children have with adults and peers throughout the day in a language-rich environment is crucial to their development. 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. 

Effective interactions should be: 

  • Respectful – Warm, open, positive, listen carefully and give children time to respond. 
  • Exciting – You are interested in the child, you follow their lead and take an interest in what they are doing, you show how excited and interested you are in your facial expression, your body language and the way you communicate. 
  • Engaging – You are totally focused and engrossed in that child’s world and give them your full attention that they deserve. You show real interest, and you don’t get distracted by things that are less important. You are providing interesting experiences that grab the child’s attention. 

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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