This Core Skill is all about a child’s ability to communicate with others productively. This includes the development of vocabulary and the skills needed to both understand and express language.

Educators can support these skills by creating an engaging and social classroom that encourages opportunities to frequently use language.

Girl holding tongs looks at adult
Decorative icon used for Communicate Core Skill

Topic-by-Topic: Language

Explore ways you can support young children's language skills
Toddler standing holding talking stick

Communicating and Speaking

Model, repeat, comment on, and encourage children’s use of language.

Children sitting in circle on floor with one child talking to another child

Listening and Understanding

Support children’s ability to understand what is being said around them.


Introduce, teach, and repeat selected words to develop children’s vocabularies.

Decorative icon used for Communicate Core Skill

Topic-by-Topic: Literacy

Explore ways you can support young children's literacy skills
Children on floor listening as teacher holds a book

Print Knowledge

Draw attention to, comment on, and label print features.

Girl signing her name

Early Writing

Comment on the purpose and function of writing, and provide opportunities for children to practice writing.

Teacher points at book while sitting on floor with two toddlers

Sound and Rhyme Awareness

Listen to, label, and comment on hearing sounds in words.

Child and educator look at white board with writing together

Phonological Awareness

Label, comment on, and practice manipulating sounds and sound patterns.

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Early Language and Literacy Resources

Be sure to check out these and other additional resources designed by our partners at Virginia Literacy Partnerships (VLP) to help you support young children’s Communicate skills.

  • This infographic describes the key components of language development.
  • This webinar highlights effective ways to scaffold preschoolers’ early writing skills.
  • These activities support children’s phonological awareness skills.