Intervention Approach by Emphasizing the Benefits of Interactions
To bridge the deficiency in the number and quality of interactions between the caregivers and children from the lowest income group (Risley & Hart, 1995), the first strategy I would use is to accept that these social differences exist. The type of intervention that I would use is to inform the caregivers why interactions are important to a child’s development and learning. Informing them of the benefits of interactions would be important as it would take them to see the positive side of engaging their children.
I would inform the parents that learning does not only take place in the classrooms, but also through incidental learning that results from engaging the children in various activities at home (Risley & Hart, 1995). Through the real-life experiences of engaging with the caregiver, incidental learning is especially important when it comes to developing the analytical and problem-solving skills of the child.
I would also let the parents know that interacting with their children can lead to improvement of their linguistic development (Reichow, 2016). For instance, I would advise the parents to avoid mixing their mother tongue and a language being learned in school when interacting with their children so that their code-switching and code-mixing can improve. Otherwise, the child will take a longer period to learn when to switch from one language when inquired using a different language, thus affecting the vocabulary use of the learner.
The more a parent interacts with the learner, the more the number of words the child learns from the caregiver. Thus, the child’s comprehension and use of nouns, functors, and modifiers like adjectives can improve significantly (Risley & Hart, 1995). Additionally, the child improves in terms of sentence and vocabulary formation. Where interactions involve outdoor play activities, it enhances the child’s curiosity to explore and thus become innovative, which can be replicated in the classroom and language development as well (Greenfield, 2014).
Education Approach by Informing Quality Features of Interactions
Another approach that I would use as a practitioner is to educate the caregivers on the key features of quality interactions. This will help them to evaluate their interactions with the children and now the steps they can take to improve them for better results.
One key quality feature of caregiver-child interaction is repetition (Risley & Hart, 1995). A caregiver should repeat certain words quite often so that the child learns the words through imitations during the interactions. The more the repetition of certain words, especially those that may be difficult for the child, for instance pronouncing consonants, the more the likelihood of the learner improving their comprehension and usage in speech.
Another key feature of quality interaction is rotation. The caregiver and the child ought to rotate roles during the interactions (Reichow, 2016). Instead of always being the one to ask questions during a conversation, the caregiver can let the child take the role. This way, the child develops the ability to use language to inquire and be inquired at the same time.
The length or the duration of an interaction matters as well. Longer interactions with breaks are more quality than shorter ones (Odom, 2016). This is because the longer the interactions, the more the probability of repeating certain words and the more the number of words spoken to the child. Breaks assist the learner to relax and try to memorize the words spoken during an oral interaction.
Health and safety during interactions are also paramount (Reichow, 2016). Interactions that pay attention to the health and safety of the child feature accessible and well-organized materials. This helps the child to learn better and improve in language development. The play objects and grounds also ought to be safe. Since it is the nature of children to explore and enhance their curiosity, anything that can cause physical or physiological harm should not be present during an interaction.
Support Approach through Strategies for Building Relationships with Families
Sharing information about the child is one way that helps in building relationships with families. As a practitioner, observing the child’s behavior and sharing it with the family would help in selecting the best intervention to use for the child’s language development.
I would use confidentiality principles advocated by the Division of Early Childhood (DEC) to guide in deciding which information to share with the family of the child and which one to withhold (Sandall, McLean & Smith, 2000). The family on the other side must also contribute by sharing specific information to help the practitioner devise better ways to enhance the acquisition of language skills by the child. Information on the progress of the child should also be shared with the parents so they know how their children fare during learning activities.
Sharing resources with the family of the child is another support approach to building relationships (Sandall et al., 2000). I would make use of leaflets, DVDs, and brochures to convey messages on how interactions can impact the child’s learning and stress the role of the caregiver in facilitating this goal. In addition, I would organize music festivals whereby the parents and other family members attend to socialize with their children (Odom, 2016). During the festivals, the parents would have an opportunity to interact with the teachers and inquire about their children’s capabilities and areas of weaknesses.
Odom, S. L. (2016). The role of theory in early childhood special education and early intervention. In Handbook of Early Childhood Special Education (pp. 21-36). Springer International Publishing.
Reichow, B. (2016). Evidence-based practice in the context of early childhood special education. In Handbook of Early Childhood Special Education (pp. 107-121). Springer International Publishing.
Risley, T. R., & Hart, B. (1995). Meaningful differences in the everyday experience of young American children. Baltimore, MD: Paul H Brookes.
Sandall, S., McLean, M. E., & Smith, B. J. (2000). DEC recommended practices in early intervention/early childhood special education. Sopris West, 4093 Specialty Pl., Longmont, CO 80504.