1 The child demonstrates understanding of directions, stories, and conversations.
During the preschool years, children learn language more quickly than at any other time in their lives. Associating language with pleasant and stimulating experiences nurtures this development. Young children's sense of words and sentences, sensitivity to tone, and understanding of ideas communicated, influences their abilities to listen and to comprehend. Listening involves active engagement with adults and peers as they share their ideas, feelings, and needs. Language is learned through engaging, interactive conversations and related literacy activities such as oral storytelling and interactive reading of books.
a Demonstrates understanding of a variety of finger-plays, rhymes, chants, poems, conversations, and stories.
b Actively engages in finger-plays, rhymes, chants, poems, conversations, and stories.
c Demonstrates understanding and follows directions that involve: one step, two steps, and a series of unrelated sequences of action.
2 The child uses verbal and nonverbal communication for a variety of purposes to share observations, ideas, and experiences, problem-solve, reason, predict and seek new information.
Children develop language by engaging in conversations with others and listening and responding to rhymes, chants, songs, stories, and poems. Children who are encouraged to share their personal experiences, ideas, feelings, and opinions use increasingly complex language.
a Communicates needs, wants, ideas, and feelings through three to five word sentences.
b Speaks clearly and understandably to express ideas, feelings and needs.
c Makes relevant responses to questions and comments from others.
d Initiates, sustains, and expands conversations with peers and adults.
e With modeling and support, uses acceptable language and social rules including appropriate tone, volume and inflection to express ideas, feelings, and needs.
f Uses appropriate eye contact, turn taking, and intonation while having conversations with adults and peers.
g Recognizes when the listener does not understand and uses techniques to clarify the message.
h With modeling and support, uses increasingly complex phrases and sentences.
3 The child understands and uses increasingly complex vocabulary.
The early childhood years are a period of vocabulary exploration. Research indicates that there is a strong connection between vocabulary development and academic success. Children gain language and vocabulary skills by having multiple and frequent opportunities to listen, talk, read, share ideas, relate experiences, and engage in interesting conversations. They need to play with familiar language and experiment with language in different settings. Rhymes, songs, and read-alouds that use rare words allow children to talk about and develop an understanding of words they would not otherwise hear in everyday conversations.
a With modeling and support, uses age-appropriate vocabulary across many topic areas and demonstrates a wide variety of words and their meanings with each area; e.g., world knowledge, names of body parts, feelings, colors, shapes, jobs, plants, animals and their habitats, and foods; words that describe: adjectives, verbs, and adverbs.