1.3 Explain how different social, professional and cultural contexts may affect relationships and the way people communicate.
When communicating with other professionals in school our language and behaviour should be more formal and official when speaking to other professionals or senior members of staff, over time this form of communicating will become automatic to that of informal or casual conversations of that in the staff room.
I am aware that my job and social role may leave me open to parents approaching me to ask questions but more importantly, I am more aware of the confidentiality policy within my school and what I must do in cases like this.
When communicating with different cultures we need to be aware of our body language and how we speak. Many cultures have different views and values on personal space as well as on non verbal behaviour which may include; hand gestures, body language and eye contact. When communicating with children with communication barriers breaking sentences down into 2 word syllables may help as well as using simple sign language such as Makaton; a language programme that uses signs and symbols as a way of communicating. Although this resource is typically used for working with children with special educational needs, it could also be used as a tool in communicating.
Explain how to adapt communication with children and young people.
A. The age of the child or young person; children of different ages will have various levels of attention and requirements than that of an older child, younger children who are starting school will require lots of support and reassurance in order for them to adjust to a school environment and develop their independence. We can help with this by encouraging them to build up friendships with other children or children they may not usually associate with. When communicating with younger children it is essential that we are at the same eye level as the child and use simple instructions broken down into manageable steps. With some children, alternative forms of communication may be required to improve communication; hands gestures, pictures or symbols. With an older child they still require lots of encouragement, praise and approval in order to improve their social skills. We also need to give older children time to talk and express their views and opinions and it is vital that they feel that you are interested in what they have to say. An older child still needs to understand boundaries and expected behavior and to take on increased responsibilities.
B. The context of the communication; verbal communication needs to changed according to whichever situation we find ourselves in when with children or young people. If we are working in a more social location in school i.e. playground or outside area then our tone can be more relaxed and friendly, which gives us the opportunity to build relationships with the children, although we should still speak to them in a way which maintains the professional carer to child role. In a situation such as a learning activity or group work then it is important that the children are focused and can work without any distractions in order to complete the activity, our communication with children in this situation will be formal and proficient as we are in class and in an educational environment.
C. Communication differences; when working with children or young people with communication difficulties it is vital that we ensure patience and understanding as they will need to take more time and feel unpressured while speaking. If a child has a speech impediment such as stammer then they could feel anxious or nervous when trying to say something so it is important that we try not to speak for them or guess what they are trying to say as this may add to their anxiety. For children with speech and language difficulties using resources such as PECS (picture exchange communication system) which is a form of alternative communication which uses pictures instead of words. Makaton; a simple form of sign language which uses signs and picture symbols as well as speech. Some children may not be given the opportunity to communicate and are worried and apprehensive so giving these children the confidence to speak up will be beneficial for both the child and adult.
Level 3 handbook
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