Developing the communication skills of early childhood teacher candidates: The case of advice

Andrea DeCapua
Long Island University
Lingshan Tian
Long Island University
Keywords: Advice, pragmatics, teacher candidates, parent-teacher communication


Teachers in their professional roles are often called upon to give advice, whether to their students, to their colleagues, to their administrators, or to parents of their students. In this article, we investigate advice giving by teacher candidates to parents of young preschool children and consider the implications of this research for early childhood education. This article is of importance in that it demonstrates the use of applied linguistics research in the classroom. Our purpose is twofold: First, we explore the discursive moves and patterns apparent in the major patterns that emerge from the data to understand how the advice giving is constructed and how this aligns with other similar research. Second, we consider how such information can be incorporated into early childhood education courses. We suggest that teacher educators can exploit research such as that presented here to combine content knowledge instruction with a focus on communication skills, skills important for teachers to be successful communicators within the school community. We explore directions for future research and recommend collegial partnerships between applied linguists and early childhood educators.