When we think of childhood language development, we instantly picture children mouthing their first words, tackling sentences, and achieving other verbal communication milestones. While linguistic communication is central to cognitive development and maturity, at C3 Childcare Group, we recognise the importance of nurturing all forms of communication, including talking, writing, drawing, painting, singing, dancing, and movement.

 

This holistic way of encouraging early childhood language development is inspired by a number of the world’s foremost thinkers on the subject. Their theories vary, but all include a heightened awareness of the many ways in which children express themselves throughout their formative years.

 

Supporting the Whole Child Through “The Hundred Languages”

‘The child… with the hundred, hundred, hundred ways of expressing themselves is a child with poetry, a child with imagination, a child who is numerate, a child who is creative, a child who is literate; culturally literate, graphically literate, digitally literate, and is a child with hope.’  (Szydlik, 2018)

There are many ways to learn about and perceive the world, which is why our Educators refer to the philosophy of “The Hundred Languages” when planning programs and interacting with the children. This evidence-based educational approach focuses on how children use many elements from the world around them to construct experiences, learn, and communicate. These languages include “expressive, communicative, symbolic, cognitive, ethical, metaphorical, logical, imaginative, and relational forms”.

Our centre is packed with resources to support all types of expression – puzzles, paint, drums, sports equipment, toys, and much more.

“We’re extremely aware of applying theory to practice. This is across all our Early Learning Programs, including the Music Program and Physical Play every day – learning through play. And we apply this from the minute they walk through the door to the time they walk out of the door,” says C3 Childcare Co-Founder, Christine Wan.

Seeing Children as “Little Scientists”

Our learning space is one of exploration and interaction, and is influenced by the work of another influential early childhood theorist, French psychologist Jean Piaget. One hundred years ago, Piaget published a theory which posited that infants didn’t come into the world as “empty vessels to be filled with knowledge”, but rather as ‘little scientists’ who interact with, experiment on, and explore their surroundings to acquire their own knowledge. Anyone who has ever watched a curious baby inserting something new (to them) into their mouths to identify it will recognise this as accurate! In fact, it’s true of children throughout their three stages of cognitive development: Sensorimotor, Preoperational, and Concrete operational.

Hence, at C3 we always support children to discover their own process of learning and understanding through experimentation and their own natural curiosity, rather than forcing knowledge on them. This is key at every developmental stage.

Learning Through the Social World

Lev Vygotsky is another prominent theorist who believed that the development of cognition is socially shaped in our early years. He emphasised how the interactions we have with “knowledgeable others” develop our language along with beliefs, values, and problem-solving abilities. He also introduced the idea of the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD), as shown below:

The ZPD is how a child comes to master skills independently, by first enlisting the support of someone with more knowledge or experience.

Applying Vygotsky’s Theory in C3’s “Pattern of the Day”

At C3, it’s our Educators who support this process throughout the day, staying present and attentive to the children to see where they’re at with their learning milestones.

“Every day we have what we call a pattern of the day. This is generally what the program is. At every activity, there is a learning outcome,” explains Christine.

Following a patterned routine cements learning for children, as they first need to be shown how to do things such as pack away toys and make their bed, then supported while doing it, and finally, they can take over themselves. The children also learn from each other, working together to complete tasks and encouraging one another.

Even during the children’s ‘down time’, like throughout lunch, there are learning outcomes. For example, children work on their language acquisition skills by being encouraged to ask for more food if they want it, using gestures, and washing their hands and their own bowls and plates.

“It could involve saying the educator’s name, saying please and thank you, or ‘I don’t like carrots. I’d like more meatballs’ – these are all part of language acquisition,”explains Christine.

At C3 Childcare Centre, we foster childhood language development through a holistic and evidence-based approach. Drawing off principles like The Hundred Languages and insights from influential theorists like Piaget and Vygotsky, we have all we need to support your child in their journey to express, learn and communicate.

Want to learn more? Contact us on 02 8540 1008 or submit an enquiry at https://c3childcaregroup.com.au/contact-us/.

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02 8540 1008

55 Webb St
Croydon NSW 2132

Monday – Friday:
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Open 50 weeks of the year
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We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land where we work and live, the Wangal people of the Eora Nation and pay our respects to Elders past and present. We celebrate the stories, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of all communities who also work and live on this land.

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