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Inclusive Language as a Pedagogical and Motivational Tool in Early Childhood Settings: Some Observations

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Document pages: 9 pages

Abstract: Inclusive language is essential for fostering inclusiveness, belongingness, and the valuing of children in early childhood education. In early childhood settings, inclusive language is used not only to effectively communicate instruction but also provide genuine expectations and hope for all children. However, teachers’ use of non-inclusive language can serve as a disincentive, minimising how children openly learn and collaborate with peers and teachers in schools. Analysing a teacher’s language use from an observational study in an early childhood classroom through a creative content analytical approach, this study reveals that teachers’ non-inclusive language use impact negatively on children’s learning, socialisation, emotional wellbeing, and motivation to learn. We identified effective training and professional development as an important vehicle to enhance and equip teachers with knowledge and skills of using inclusive language, particularly as both a pedagogical and motivational tool in early childhood education. The study recommends that teachers should be made aware of the importance of using inclusive language and its associated benefits for educating children rather than the use of non-inclusive language. Some practical implications for using inclusive language are also provided.

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