CHRISTIAN ACADEMY IN JAPAN
Christian
Academy
in Japan

Effective Communication in Kindergarten

-Julie Johnson, Elementary Head Teacher

“You are writers!” 

Each day, Lisa Turner and Christine Iijima, CAJ’s dedicated kindergarten teachers, look out at their class and encourage them with this statement, reminding them that they ARE writers! 

At CAJ, students are encouraged to develop their God-given abilities in communication and become effective communicators. Beginning in kindergarten, students greet each other with smiles, stand in front of the class and present something they’ve made or brought, and answer questions from others with a clear voice. 

For kindergarteners, an important milestone in growing as an effective communicator is learning to write. Writing in English is a complicated task. Not only do students learn to write each letter in the alphabet, but they also need to understand that letters have sounds (and some have multiple sounds!) and can be put together to make words. They have to understand that words make sentences with a capital letter at the beginning, spaces between words, and a punctuation mark at the end. 

As our young students practice these early skills of writing, adults may look at their writing and think it looks messy. They notice all the errors that make it hard to read and might wonder if what these kids are producing would actually be considered “writing.” But, for these children, the process of putting their ideas on paper is a way of expressing themselves. 

Learning to write helps students imagine sharing their ideas with a larger audience some day. One kindergarten student explained, “I like to write about things I love–like vegetables, fruit, school, and family. When I grow up, I want to be an author and an illustrator!”

At CAJ, we celebrate the process. In early elementary, when students are practicing and experimenting with spelling and grammar, teachers love to see students build independence in their writing and begin to communicate through writing. We believe even our youngest students have important ideas to share, and writing is a way to share those ideas with the world.

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