Listening and Communication Overview
MAD Academy help children learn to listen carefully, respond to what they hear, and to speak with confidence
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The development of listening skills is vitally important in young children and many other aspects of their development are influenced by their ability to listen. Listening also becomes very important in preparing children for school. It is one of the most important factors in determining early success and confidence at school and not surprisingly the government and educationalists place a lot of importance on it for school readiness.
Listening and communication are highly complex and involve many interconnected skills. Children will need to learn that sounds can be created by various things, to ascertain the direction the sound is coming from, to sustain careful listening once they are aware of a noise, to be able to distinguish between multiple sounds, to associate meaning to sounds, to respond to different sounds in different ways, to remember sounds they have heard etc. Not surprisingly it is very much an on-going process, starting even before babies are born in the womb, and continuing to become more sophisticated and complex as children get older, even into their teens.
Similarly communication is a multi-faceted skill which covers social rules and behaviours (such as eye contact, smiling, mirroring postures), sound making, conveying and interpreting meaning, processing language, oral confidence, two-way conversation, talking in a group etc.
It is because these skills are so important that MAD Academy supports their development through a variety of activities in every class, every week. MAD Academy is well placed to support the development of listening and communication in young children because we do so much through music. Music is inextricably linked to listening skills and can encourage effective sound discrimination and recall, while singing songs introduces children to the rhythm and pattern of speech, encourages oral confidence and widens vocabulary and comprehension. Also the area of the brain which processes music and rhythm also processes language and communication and the use of music in the development of language strengthens both skills.
For more detail on the way we support the development of listening and communication within our classes, please see the background to each of the Listening and Communication activities given on their description pages.