Communication can be termed as the cornerstone in the development of young children. Communication should not only be thought of in terms of oratory skills in symbolic language, but it is a process that begins right from birth. Numerous connections formed inside the brain during the early years of a child’s life makes it both, flexible and adaptable. During these years, the brain is approximately twice the average of that of adult’s, in terms of activity. The onset of a child’s life is characterized by three intentions, which are: behavioral regulation, joint attention and social interaction (Essa 2010).
Communication is a skill that is to be possessed by educators, because it gives a better understanding of the child’s perspective. The mind of the child in its early stages, tries to cope up with a strange world and new surrounding. Communication is the only way that can help the educator to assess the world through the child’s eyes and appreciate the problems and challenges faced in the process of growth and education. Ineffective communication can also give the educator a wrong perception of a child’s knowledge levels (Couchenour and Chrisman 2010). Communication helps an educator to understand the logic, imposed by the child in terms of various issues.
Importance of Communication to Early Childhood Educators
Good communication leads to a smooth flow of information from one medium to another. This ensures that an educator is easily understood and knowledge dispensed is readily accepted by a child. The educator can benefit most by using the laws of attraction to get maximum response from a child through communication (Gonzalez-Mena 2008). It makes the educator appealing to his students and hence increases the attention levels of children to course work and, moreover, it boosts the morale of the children to participate in educational activities.
Communication helps the educator to avoid ambiguity, when dealing with children in the early childhood phase. This skill helps its users to know what to say and when to say it, in a manner that will give the most positive outcome. Ambiguity is one of the factors that is known to make the learning process challenging. Ambiguity often succeeds in making an educator look intimidating and these leaves the children being taught, to be on a different platform from the teacher’s. Communication aids in nurturing the virtue of time saving, because the parties involved understand each other. This makes it easy for a message to be transmitted from the educator to the child and vice versa. This is a normal occurrence that is brought about by the use of words that might have two meanings. An instance of this is, when the educator might use the word ‘father,’ while the child is accustomed to the word ‘papa’.
The educator’s skill in communication helps identify the cultural background of the child, which makes the dispensation of knowledge easy (Hardwick 2005). The child, handled by the educator, is usually at a stage, where they want to learn as many things as possible. If the educator continuously makes mistakes characterized by their own impediments, then the child may develop a life long problem in a particular discipline. Voice clarity should also be taken into account. Someone with a deprived oratory and pronunciation skills communicates poorly and, hence, is a potential harm to the children’s mental growth.
In communication development, such skills are often taught and they enable the educator to identify and rectify their areas of weaknesses (Berns 2009). Voice control and the use of vocal variations also aid in the education process without making the educator to have much input. A flat tone is known to make educators be branded as boring. On the other hand, a queer voice structure or physical defects, such as a lisp or stammering, may make the children to be alert, but not attentive in what is being said. Many of those, who stammer are known to have a “word flight,” when angry or in unfamiliar situations.
The educator must be assertive, so that he can be taken seriously by children under his authority. This is possible through the correct use of various forms of communication. For instance, the educator may bring into play the utilization of hands and facial expressions to drive major points across. Research has proven that an educator, who is deficient in terms of communication skills, can easily get irritable, because they become victims of communication break downs (Dudek and Castucci 2000) .Being assertive in this regard, does not mean getting either harsh or overtly strict. Instead, being assertive entails self- presentation that the child learners can differentiate when an educator is serious or joking.
Communication is a key skill, because a person, who is good in communication, allows others to speak. Listening is an active part of communication just as talking. This makes learning in early childhood to be interesting, because of participation and involvement of the child in the educator’s tutorage (Essa 2010). Through listening skills, education is made an interesting process, because an educator can know and gauge whether what they are teaching is getting understood or not. Listening also helps an educator to understand the child in respect to their views pertaining particular subjects.
Silence can be used, when dealing with children. Silence as a skill possessed by an educator is vital since it has many benefits, although, it should not be misused. A good instance, where this can be applied is, when faced by a child, who seeks too much attention. In such a scenario, the weapon of silence can be unleashed to tame such behavior. Children automatically respond to silence by dropping the attention seeking antics. When silence is used at an appropriate time, it can also cause nervousness and make the child, who does not want to speak, to try and fill it (McAfee 2004). It can be applied, when the educator is seeking information. This is because silence can be used to prompt an answer as the child strives to fill it while, in extent, providing more information about something.
Communication is important for the reason that an educator can use psychology in the approach of teaching, which is beneficial to the child in the long run. Tactile approach to dissemination of knowledge is imperative. This is because children are known to be more responsive to touch and can recall things better when an educator incorporates tactile approaches to learning. Tactile approaches include: giving a handshake and pats on the back. This is significant, because an educator can make a particular child to feel appreciated. Other psychological approaches can also be used to discipline the learners through negative and positive reward schemes (Freeman and Feeney 2005).
To the educator, good communication is known to improve self-confidence levels. This is so as an educator can easily transmit knowledge without the fear of getting misquoted and misunderstood. Confidence makes the students to feel at ease with the educators grasp concerning a subject matter. This is essential, since it does not only help the educator in his profession, but also in other spheres of life. Good communication as a skill is vital to an educator, because it makes the educator know when to stop giving out extra information. A good communicator knows when the subject matter is becoming too complex, hazy or uninteresting. By virtue of this, an excellent communicator can easily read the mood prevailing in a room and make the necessary adjustments to either, stop or change the topic (Darragh 2009).
Good communication skill aids an educator in the formation of an approach towards the education process. An educator can, therefore, choose an approach that will make concepts to get easily understood. This makes the dispensation of knowledge less cumbersome and straight forward. Another objective of good communication is to make the educator organized. Organization is of key importance, as it helps in things like drafting time tables (Sobel 2008). Organization, furthermore, helps an educator to have a good relationship with an employer. When it comes to written forms of communication, an educator with good communication levels can easily arrange work for easy reference. Good records can aid an educator, when he is not around, to give out lectures.
Given all the merits of communication and its importance as a skill to an educator, we cannot alienate the utilization of other skills. The relationship that exists between communication and other skills are what defines a true educator. Communication, in addition, has a host of limits that should be improved over time. A good example of this is that communication differs through out cultures and a person, who portrays good communication skills in one culture, is not necessarily guaranteed to be successful in another culture. Therefore, the enlisting of communication as a means of passing information is very crucial in ensuring proper learning and comprehension among the learners and, thus, should be embraced by all means.