Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
The above conversation between the trainer and the toddler is filled with repetitions. The reasons for the repetition is that it helps the toddler in learning and grasping the concept that is being taught for instance, “M: Does Chick say chick chick?” what this does is that the toddler is given a chance to hear the word more than once, it will ensure that the word sticks. The child also gets excited when a word is being repeated. The other reason why words get repeated to a child is to make them internalize the words on how they are pronounced so that they can give it a try when the teacher allows them to .
The conversation has a lot of pointing from the trainer. The trainer applies these techniques almost throughout the conversation as a way to make the toddler to be able to associate movements with what they are supposed to read or say, example, “Pointing at a Pig’s photo and ask] Okay! What’s that?’ Where the child is then required to say what they see if they know it. If they do not it, the child still says the wrong answer, but the trainer points again kindly, showing the child that maybe that was not the right answer.
The dialogue is filled with so many pictures; the reason why the trainer would use pictures is that the child’s brain is still developing. Thus, they need to have a mental aid of what they are about to say and pronounce. The picture helps the child to, first of all see, then try and say it out loud. The conversation hence started by the trainer talking about a book with pictures for they understood the importance of picture in early toddler learning and development.
The conversation had so many conversational pointers whereby the trainer would use words such as, say or is this? All in an attempt to steer the mind of the child towards what the trainer wanted the child to do or say. This helps in ensuring that the child does not spend so much time trying to think about what they should say; rather, they only need to listen then try to say it out loud. The minds of toddlers can only take so much. Therefore, they learn by association where the trainer will tell them to say “chick” and the child will be able to repeat the word as they hear them.
The conversation is filled with so many mumbles, as the child is learning it does not mean they do not know anything, on the contrary, you will hear the child mumbling some words trying to even ask the teacher questions like “what is this?” and the teacher has to answer the question from the child . This shows that the child is growing and can be used to hold a two ended conversation where it’s not only the teacher who can ask the questions. What this does to the child is to encourage them to talk more and be fully focused in what is happening between them and the teacher. They learn faster when the questions they ask are answered.
The conversation does not have any negations or any negative remarks from the trainer. If the child said something that was not right the teacher would echo, the same, for instance, during the counting part the child said “too much,” and the teacher politely said that’s two. When a teacher does not correct the child, the child will learn faster in that they will only retain the right information other than when the teacher keeps telling them things like no (Kimberly Zimmer Aulenback & Dawn Ohanian Tringas, 2018), that’s wrong and so on. Positive feedback from the teacher encourages the child and helps in building their moral for learning all the important stuff.
The choice of language from the conversation is easy as it should be expected. The teacher knows well that the child knows only but a few words so the whole conversation was made up of words that were familiar to the child at all time. The child stands a chance to give the right response when the language used is simple enough and contains so much repetition. For instance, the teacher would say, “Does chick say chick chick?” this choice of word is easy for the child to follow and makes learning faster the conversation livelier for the child.
The conversation is seen to provide the toddler with the option whereby they have to be in it for the conversation to continue. The toddler is presented with an option of whether to engage in the conversation or not. The psychology of the child is triggered when the child is presented with a choice of joining a conversation or when the trainer asks the toddler whether they should look at the next on. If the child decides to join in the conversation, it means that they are willing to pay attention until when the conversation will end and that makes them feel like they are in control, therefore, more receptive of things that are being taught by the teacher.
The conversation is filled with so many non-verbal cues that include head nodding and smiling. Both the trainer and the toddler are seen to constantly smile while having the conversation the child smiles to show that they are enjoying whatever they are doing and can also be to show that they understand what they are being taught, the trainer will smile to the child as a way of encouraging the child. If the child gets the idea that the trainer is not happy with the answers, they are giving then they can be highly discouraged and won’t want to continue with the conversation, but when they are met with a smile, they would not mind if the conversation went on a little longer.
The conversation is highly based on hands and gestures. The reason why the trainer used a lot of gestures during the conversation was to help the child know what was expected from it. Hand gestures being dominant throughout the conversation can be said to help the teacher pass the message across to the child who has limited conversational skills and knows only a handful of vocabularies. Extensive use of gestures in the conversation can be the reason why the conversation between that toddler and the trainer achieved so much in the first place. The teacher had to employ counting using the fingers when the toddler was saying “too much,” the trainer said, “let’s count while holding fingers up.”
Head nodding is also dominant in the conversation. What nodding does in such a conversation is to help the conversation move faster. It would have taken the above conversation awful lot of time if the trainer had to constantly use words to agree with the child or acknowledge what the child was answering were the right answers. Head nodding, therefore, helped to keep the conversation precise and straight to the point. The other reason why a trainer would use nodding, is so that the child would see that the trainer understands his/her language, which is mostly based on signs for the better part of the toddler introductory education.
Some of the strengths from the conversation were that I lowered myself to the level of the toddler, and the communication was as if it was between two toddlers. The reason behind the approach was so that the toddler would fell engaged in the conversation at all time. When a teacher goes to the toddler’s level, the toddler can easily identify their strengths and build on them. As a trainer, I tried my level best not to appear like I was harsh to the child by encouraging the child to be more productive through collaborative learning. Where I would take my time and give the child the right answer, and then the child would say it out. The EYFL advocates for the child belonging, being, and finally becoming. Based on what the framework encourages to be implemented by teachers is making sure the child feels like they belong, and that’s what I was using. The dialogue was very “thin” as it only included the child mostly echoing what the trainer said, it could have been much better if the trainer could have encouraged the toddler to participate by asking questions that required the child to think before answering rather than the teacher just telling the child the answer so that the child could repeat the same.
Other strengths of the conversation are that the child was very happy to converse with me. The child seemed to be well involved in our conversation, which was great since we did not have to waste time trying to get the toddlers attention. Immediately the conversation started it flowed well without any disturbance. One of the reasons that I think could have been behind the nice reception from the child was that I presented the child with an option to join in, in the dialogue rather than just forcing the conversation. I also believe that a toddler will react differently to a trainer based on whether the trainer was in a good outward mood or not, I was during the dialogue full of life and joyous and that could have impacted the child to give their best too.
I chose the dialogue to be held at relatively early hours of the day so as to ensure that the toddler won’t be so tired which can negatively impact our conversation. When a child is tired, they may have problems focusing on what is being talked about or taught, hence the choice of the time to have the conversation was mostly based on that factor. A child will gain so much if the body is fully relaxed and they have not taken many activities before such a conversation is undertaken. The child proved to be more active during this time and we were able to cover so much together during that time.
During the conversation I was thinking that the rate at which I was taking the conversation was rather fast for the child to be able to remember all that we talked about. To some extent that was true since during the conversation we touched on animals, sounds made by different animal and also counting one to three. I was asking myself minutes into the conversation am I moving too fast and henceforth. At the moment when I think about that conversation, I have a number of things I would approach differently than I did back then for example, make the conversation more deeper and toddler centered.