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As you have explored this week, affirming communication focuses on respect for children and involves both speaking and listening. In this Application Assignment, you will more closely examine ways in which to communicate effectively with children in order to foster nurturing relationships, cooperation, and feelings of worth.
In preparation for this assignment:
Reflect on the articles in this weeks Required Resources, The Nature of Teacher Talk during Small Group Activities and Stepping Back to Listen to Jeff: Conversations with a 2-Year-Old. In each, the authors offer guidelines for facilitating affirming communication with children. Re-read the articles and identify three important principles you gleaned to guide you in fostering positive communication between you and the children with whom you work or may work with in the future.
Now, think about the media segment demonstration which features Lisa Kolbeck engaging two very quiet young children in conversation as they play. How well does Ms. Kolbeck exemplify these principles in her communication and interaction with the children in the media segment? It may be helpful to replay the media segment with these principles in mind and take note of specific comments that she makes or behavior that she engages in while she converses with the children. What additional kinds of interactions, communications, and sensitivities does she exhibit that help to draw children out and show respect for them as individuals?
Next, consider the article Communicating with Babies which discusses ways in which to appropriately communicate with infants. As you know, children of different ages communicate in different ways. Caring adults communicate in ways that relate to the age and interests of the child. Do the three guiding principles you identified earlier in this assignment hold up when working with infants as well? How so? If not, why not?
Finally, think about your own experiences in talking with and listening to young children. What additional insights might you have for facilitating affirming communication from your professional and/or personal perspective? What methods have you used to enhance positive communication with children to help them develop confidence, feelings of self-worth, and positive, respectful relationships with others? How do you know that these methods have been effective?
For this assignment submit:
A brief summary of the three guiding principles that you believe are most essential to facilitating affirming communication with young children. Be sure to support your comments with specific references to the Required Resources.
An evaluation of the ways in which these principles are exemplified by the teacher, Lisa Kolbeck in the video program titled, “Strategies for Working With Diverse Children: Communicating With Young Children.”
An explanation of how these principles apply to communicating with infants.
Insights with regard to your own professional and/or personal experiences as they relate to communicating effectively with young children and ways you believe you have benefited from this learning experience.
Assignment length: 2 pages minimum

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