Everyone has a slightly different style of communicating this is one of the things that make every individual unique. As we know communication is a two-way process and effective communication requires everyone involved to be able to express their own thoughts and messages and to understand the communication of others. In a way it is our job to ensure that we find ways of communicating language needs, preferences can be quite wide ranging, someone may require an interpreter or signer or someone else may need communication to take place in a quite environment and at a slower pace. We had a little girl who’s first language was welsh and luckily I am fluent and was able to assist her a lot in communicating with others, also we now have a parent who has partial hearing loss and I ensure that the environment is quite when we talk.
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When working with adults, we can ask them directly how to accommodate communication or work out for ourselves that a person cannot speak English. My twins have a friend in school who is Turkish and their mother struggles with English, we communicate by using Google translate on our mobile phones. It is also important to establish a level of formality required as not everyone wants to be called by their first name, some will prefer to make appointments rather than just “turn up”.
It is also useful to be aware that written communications can be daunting for some people, a home-setting link book is a good idea, but you must check that the parents or carer’s are comfortable with reading and writing. With children it can be challenging to decide the best way to communicate, for example babies and young children will still be developing speech and so talking alone will not work.
This is why we use facial expression and gestures to point at things, so that a baby or toddlers are more likely to understand what we are trying to say. We also need to learn to interpret what a baby of toddler is trying to communicate when crying or what a toddler is trying to express when gesturing to some objects.