Thursday, 19 September 2013

Mobile phones are a huge barrier to communication development!

I just wanted to take the opportunity to respond to another report in a newspaper:

Head teachers have accurately said that parents shouldn't check their phones when their children are talking to them, as this can make sure they feel important and valued.

Why is this so important?
Communication is a two way interaction between people, children need to have the opportunity to interact with people that will listen to them; and respond to their questions and comments about the world around them. This will help them to learn how to communicate and use language skills that are appropriate and expected by others i.e. turn taking, listening attentively etc.; and also why we communicate i.e. for our needs and wants to be met.
Realistically can this be done if mum or dad or, our child’s carers spend a large proportion of this valuable time texting, responding to emails, accessing social media etc. Previously, a large impact on a child’s speech, language and communication was the effect of ‘wallpaper television’ i.e. the television being on constantly in the background, impacting on effective interaction and communication between children and adults. Today, I think another challenge is the mobile phone, as this can be taken anywhere.

What affect can mobile phones have on effective communication?
·        Reduces the time spent talking to each other, face to face
·        Reduces vocabulary expanding opportunities
·        Reduces effective modelling of social interaction skills i.e. listening attentively to the speaker, turn taking, ending conversations appropriately etc.
·        Reduces opportunities for parent-child interaction, affecting the quality and quantity of that interaction
·        Prevents good eye contact
·        You may not be aware of non-verbal communication i.e. pointing, body language, gestures; your child may be using to support his/her communication
Fortunately, I have not come across many parents in my pre-school language groups who regularly access their phones rather than join in with the session. However, I do know that many of my colleagues have. So if you work with parents and their children, think about talking to them about the use of mobile phones and the impact it can have on their children’s speech, language and communication skills.

Georgina White


  1. Wow! This really is one particular of the most beneficial blogs I've actually arrive throughout on this subject.Mobile Apps

  2. I agree with all the points you have mention above, the use of mobile phones has connected the people who are far away from us but at same time it has also taken away the people who are near to us.

  3. I have actually troubled myself with this fight to find out what has really killed our interaction on daily bases.
    Let me give an example. there was this day i went out with friends for a eat out and a movie. As soon as we arrived at the restaurant, we ordered food then everyone was on his/her mobile ( including me for that matter) after food was brought on the table, I started eating but still my friends ate with their phones on their hands.
    That is when i realised that use of mobile phones have really taken our social interaction and power of networking.

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