Supporting Communication and Language Development

Laura Moore-Williams, Early Years Consultant
20th November 2023

Share this entry:

The seven areas of learning and development in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage are inter-connected however, Communication and Language is a prime area with particular importance as it underpins all other areas of learning. Therefore, as practitioners it is vital we support the development of children’s language through a wide range of key experiences and play opportunities. Essentially, we want to enable children to become effective communicators, so how do we go about it?


Our back-and-forth interactions with children from an early age are crucial. This is known as Serve and Return. Language-rich quality conversations, build children’s language effectively. So through our role as the adult, we need to ask key questions, comment on what they are doing and echo what they are saying by extending their sentences using new vocabulary. Even when it’s a young baby beginning to babble, we must encourage conversations. Talk to them like you are engaging in a dialogue that is going between you both. It’s important for us to realise and remember the vital role we play in the lives of young children in our care, talking to them needs to start from birth, or even before.

Play games

From only a few months old, children start to notice repeated words and actions, especially in simple games like Peek-a-boo. They quickly become familiar with the vocabulary used and will start to say it themselves. This game alone allows for so much communication and language development as we tend to become quite animated in our facial expressions and body language, because we want it to be fun for the child. Therefore, children develop their ability to communicate in non-verbal ways too. Initially playing this game will involve one person hiding, but when the child gets familiar with the concept, you could extend it to playing hide and seek, hiding different objects to build vocabulary skills. As the child progresses in their learning, introducing simple memory games will continue to extend their development.

Reading together

Reading is one of the best things to do to support all areas of learning. Hearing words and seeing pictures encourage communication and language development in particular as a child will begin to understand the two are connected. This lays a foundation for speech, exposes children to new vocabulary, and highlights the structure of our sentences within spoken language.


Essentially it’s important to remember that Communication and Language development isn’t simply about learning how to talk. Children need to see adults interacting, communicating, and conversing in order to develop the ability to become effective communicators themselves. Be proud of the impact you have!

Laura Moore-Williams will be speaking at Childcare & Education Expo London 2024. If you’d like to hear from Laura, click here to register to attend Childcare & Education Expo London. 

Get in touch with Laura via Instagram and explore other ways to get in touch here.

Why attend Childcare & Education Expo?

Join over 2,500 like-minded individuals from the early years & primary sector who are dedicated to improving their practice and their education settings.

Attend educational seminars and panel discussions to credit your CPD

Meet the experts to have your questions answered

Receive fantastic onsite offers and discounts

Experience expert-led informative hands-on workshops

Network with peers and industry players

Pick up hundreds of new products, resources, ideas and services

And most of all, enjoy a great day out with your colleagues

100+ exhibitors | 1000s of industry players | 100s of experts