Supporting communication development in the early years: A practitioner's perspective

Julie Bain, Deborah James, Mary Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This research study set out to explore the education practitioner’s role in promoting communication development in early years classrooms. The study was undertaken in the combined nursery and reception early years unit of a small primary school using an ethnographic approach. Qualitative data was collected through 18 three-hour visits to the setting, using a mixture of observations, conversations and reflective notes, followed by a semi-structured interview with the teacher who was the subject of the case study. Analysis of the data revealed a multi-layered approach to communication that involved children, staff and parents. The participant interview revealed the depth of the teacher’s commitment to developing the children’s communication. The interview data suggested that this commitment came from the teacher’s own experiences of parenting and being valued and supported by her peers to help each child develop his or her communication skills effectively. The teacher was invited to reflect on the study’s findings, and they are presented in the article.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-336
JournalChild Language Teaching and Therapy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015


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