The following information draws on the information from Te Whāriki61 to describe some of the outcomes in the communication strand that early learning services can use to develop their curriculum priorities for children’s oral language learning and development. These are set out in terms of the goals of the communication strands and provide a useful framework for thinking about the knowledge, skills and attitudes children take with them as they transition to school. The outcomes usefully describe what a rich language curriculum needs to focus on to support children in becoming confident and competent communicators.
Mana Reo – Communication
Children experience an environment where they develop non-verbal communication skills for a range of purposes.
- responsive and reciprocal skills, such as turn-taking and offering
- non-verbal ways of expressing and communicating imaginative ideas
- an increasingly elaborate repertoire of gesture and expressive body movement for communication, including ways to make requests non- verbally and appropriately
- an increasing understanding of non-verbal messages, including an ability to attend to the non-verbal requests and suggestions of others
- an ability to express their feelings and emotions in a range of appropriate non-verbal ways.
Children experience an environment where they develop verbal communication skills for a range of purposes.
- language skills in real play and problem-solving contexts, as well as in more structured language contexts, for example, through books
- language skills for increasingly complex purposes, such as stating and asking others about intentions; expressing feelings and attitudes and asking others about feelings and attitudes
- negotiating, predicting, planning, reasoning, guessing, story-telling; and using the language of probability, including words such as “might”, “can’t”, “always”, “never”, and “sometimes”
- a playful interest in repetitive sounds and words, aspects of language such as rhythm, rhyme, and alliteration; and an enjoyment of nonsense stories and rhymes
- an increasing knowledge and skill, in both syntax and meaning in at least one language
- an appreciation of te reo Māori as a living and relevant language
- confidence that their first language is valued
- the expectation that verbal communication will be a source of delight, comfort, and amusement and that it can be used to effectively communicate ideas and information and solve problems
- the inclination and ability to listen attentively and respond appropriately to speakers.
Children encounter an environment where they experience the stories and symbols of their own and other cultures.
- an understanding that symbols can be “read” by others and that thoughts, experiences, and ideas can be represented through words, pictures, print, numbers, sounds, shapes, models, and photographs
- familiarity with print and its uses by exploring and observing the use of print in activities that have meaning and purpose for children
- familiarity with an appropriate selection of the stories and literature valued by the cultures in their community
- an expectation that words and books can amuse, delight, comfort, illuminate, inform, and excite
- experience with creating stories and symbols.
Children experience an environment where they discover and develop different ways to be creative and expressive.
- familiarity with the properties and character of the materials and technology used in the creative and expressive arts
- skills with media that can be used for expressing a mood or a feeling or for representing information, such as crayons, pencils, paint, blocks, wood, musical instruments, and movement skills
- an ability to be creative and expressive through a variety of activities, such as pretend play, carpentry, story-telling, drama, and making music
- confidence to sing songs, including songs of their own, and to experiment with chants and pitch patterns.
61 Ministry of Education. (1996). Te Whāriki, He Whāriki Mātauranga mō ngā Mokopuna o Aotearoa. Wellington: The Ministry: pp. 74-80.