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New films created to help children's speech and language

The Communication Trust has created a series of films, shot from a child's point of view, highlighting how young children learn to speak, listen and interact with their parents or carers.

The four films, which focus on how children aged age 0 to six months, six to 12 months, one to two and two to three years-old learn to communicate, have been commissioned by Jean Gross, formerly the Government’s Communication Champion for Children, as a legacy of last year’s Hello campaign that marked the national year of communication.

Shot from the point of view of the child, actress and director Kathy Burke provides a humorous voiceover, highlighting what children respond to and struggle with.

Each film ends with ‘take-home’ messages for parents. For example, in the one to two-year-old film, the key messages prompt parents to read books to their children in quiet places, remind them to keep distractions to a minimum as too much background noise can affect children’s concentration, and not to ask children too many questions because they need time to think about their answer.

A series of factsheets around the key messages have also been created, along with a guidance documents for early years practitioners on how to make best use of the films.

Jean Gross said, “Children don’t come with an instruction manual. Our work last year showed that parents want and need more information on how their child learns to speak, listen and make themselves understood. These films show in a fun and practical way what children need from the adults around them to get the best start in life.”

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