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The EAL requirements reveal a lack of knowledge about how language is learned, say early years consultants Tricia Carroll and Anne O'Connor.

Observation is central to assessment for the new Progress Check at Two and the revised EYFS Profile, says Jan Dubiel, national development co-ordinator for Early Excellence.

When boys are playing boisterously and causing disruption, it may be time to look again at what type of activities are being provided for them, advises Penny Tassoni.

Thinking is at the root of young children's creative efforts as they use the information and experience they already have to come up with their own ideas and work towards expression, says Jan Dubiel, national development manager at Early Excellence.

If a child relatively new to the nursery shows troubled behaviour, think again about the process of settling in. Penny Tassoni offers some practical tips.

The defining elements of active learning, the second characteristic of effective learning and teaching identified in the Early Years Foundation Stage review, are set out by Jan Dubiel, national development manager of training and resource centre Early Excellence.

An observational classroom study by Rachel Holmes, Maggie MacLure, Liz Jones and Christina MacRae can give practitioners some revealing insights.

Early years practitioners, like parents, are fiercely divided on the merits of 'reward' stickers for young children. Penny Tassoni sets out the arguments for and against.

While some young children rise to a challenge, others feel daunted. Nancy Stewart explains why in this extract from How Children Learn.

To be effective communicators, young children need attention from adults who are tuned in to what is worthwhile to them, writes Julie Fisher in the first of a four-part series about the role of the practitioner in early learning.