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Creating Language Rich Learning Environments by Hayley Winter

The importance of language, vocabulary and communication in the Early Years is interwoven throughout the new statutory framework and represented under the guiding principle of enabling environments.   

Posted on Tuesday 30th May 2023

We often think that “Language Rich Learning Environments” constitutes labelling absolutely everything in sight. Yet, the practitioners who understand child development and use effective strategies to promote communication skills are the best resource any setting could hope for. 

Yes, we’ve all seen it before. Settings that have EVERYTHING labelled and consider this a “Language Rich Learning Environment” because it has physical words written everywhere. That’s everything from the table to the window, phones to blocks, chairs to an interactive whiteboard, etc. Some may also choose to have the labels in other languages too. That’s not to say that labelling resources no longer has a place in education as it CAN be effective. Still, we must remember pictures, logos, and children’s mark-making are the beginning of reading and language development too.    

Top 3 tips about creating an environment which is language rich:  

  • Tip 1: Reduce the number of questions and instead comment and narrate what you’re doing using sentence openers such as, ‘I wonder….’  
  • Tip 2:  Use every opportunity to explore new languages. For example, utilising books, the home-corner, etc and encourage the child to discuss and explore the area(s) surrounding their learning.  
  • Tip 3: Integrate a wide range of resources to build upon language development. Some examples of my favourite resources include: 

Early Years Immersive Projector Early Years Immersive Projector Early Years Immersive Projector

Thank you to Hayley Winter for writing this blog

Hayley Winter is an Early Years teacher and leader who is passionate about learning through play. She shares simple and effective teaching ideas for 3-5 year olds on social media. Find out more over on her website: // []


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