New best practice resource to boost communication in young children launched

by Freya Lucas

April 08, 2020

Communication, curiosity and conversation are all key predictors of young children’s success later in life, according to best practice resources on early childhood education recently launched in Brisbane, with the backing of Social Ventures Australia-backed education not-for-profit Evidence for Learning.

 

The Early Childhood Education Toolkit (ECE Toolkit) shows communication and language approaches consistently provide benefits for children between the ages of two and five years old. Oral language acquisition is a predictor of a child’s success in formal classroom settings and life trajectories more broadly.

 

The ECE Toolkit, an accessible summary of more than 1,700 education research studies, made possible thanks to a partnership with The Bryan Foundation, provides an example of how philanthropy can ensure funding is invested in approaches that work best for Australian children. 

 

To support the use of communication and language approaches, Evidence for Learning commissioned the University of Queensland to develop tip sheets for educators. They contain three oral language resources, available for free, which are based on a systemic review of current research and provide evidence-informed strategies to support rich conversations with young learners.

 

These strategies include creating spaces for children’s talk, suggestions for questions which prompt longer conversations, and tips for keeping these conversations going.

 

Evidence for Learning Director Matthew Deeble said the toolkit is tailored to ensure that best practice materials and resources are in the hands of early childhood educators and centre directors working with young children. 

 

“We know high-quality early learning makes a big difference to a child’s readiness for school. It is a key predictor of success later in life, and children experiencing disadvantage stand to benefit the most,” he added. 

 

Research commissioned by The Front Project, an Evidence for Learning partner, shows that investing in early childhood education addresses developmental vulnerability in children, boosts productivity and increases workforce participation.

 

Chair of Evidence for Learning’s Early Childhood Education Expert Reference Council, Professor Karen Thorpe, from The University of Queensland said Evidence for Learning’s work in ECEC supports educators in their everyday decision-making. 

 

“By collating and analysing the most current evidence, Evidence for Learning mobilises the best knowledge in early learning research for the benefit of educators, children and our nation’s future,” she said. 

 

To access the toolkit, please see here.

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