How can you teach children the rules of nonverbal language?

Posted by Care Courses

Apr 8, 2016 1:08:39 PM



Many caregivers want to know how they can help children develop their nonverbal communication. Here at Care Courses we offer a course called Teaching Nonverbal Language Skills, which can help early childhood professionals assess and develop children’s nonverbal communication skills.

Did you know that only seven percent of emotional communication and meaning is actually expressed with words? This is why it is key for caregivers to know how to teach children the rules of nonverbal language.

The first step in assessing children’s nonverbal language development levels is to familiarize yourself with the grammar of nonverbal communication. Nonverbal language is categorized into six areas:

  • Paralanguage (such as tone, intensity, and loudness of voice)
  • Facial expressions
  • Postures and gestures
  • Interpersonal distance (space) and touch
  • Rhythm and time
  • Objectics (personal hygiene, style of dress)

It is also extremely important to let children know what you are doing, especially if there is a deficit in their understanding of social relationships. You will need to exhibit the same amount of patience and support that you show when the child is learning verbal communication.

One way to informally assess the child’s nonverbal language skills is to select a satisfactory TV program showing substantial interactions between children and adults, turn off the sound, and ask the child to tell you what they think is going on as they watch the screen. Be sure to turn up the volume every so often to evaluate the child’s accuracy. Focus on details such as what the characters’ facial expressions indicate and how their facial expressions are used in combination with their postures.

Whether you use the above method or another technique, keep in mind that your evaluation of the child’s nonverbal communication skills should include the child’s ability to:

  • discriminate among nonverbal cues
  • identify the emotions presented in nonverbal communication
  • express emotions through various nonverbal channels
  • apply nonverbal information to interpret what is happening in diverse conversations.

In our Care Course, Teaching Nonverbal Language Skills, we discuss a variety of techniques adults can use to help children improve their nonverbal communication skills. If you’d like to learn more, the course can be found on our website.

Please let us know how we can be of additional assistance! Call us: 1-800-685-7610, Monday through Friday, 9-5 ET, or email us days, evenings and weekends: We’re here to help!

Topics: Care Courses Questions

About Care Courses

Care Courses has been providing distance learning courses for early childhood professionals since 1990. Our courses are delivered to you either via US Mail or on your computer, and can be used for the CDA and many state training requirements. We offer over 60 excellent, convenient courses in a wide variety of interesting, helpful topics, and our courses have no time limits. Do them wherever and whenever you wish. Visit our website to access our course listings.

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