Telephone Talk

Delivery Method: 

Have you ever watched children having a pretend conversation on a toy telephone? They exhibit amazing finesse, using the pauses, cues, and descriptions necessary for the invisible listener on the other end. In this Thinkprint, we observe children from one to five years old deal with the language requirements of this modern device, the telephone. We see them hold the phone to their chest to mute the reception on the other end. We see them calculate how long it should take a pretend conversant to answer a question. We hear them identify themselves and explain the local situation because they understand the listener's blind perspective. In one example, Devon (blond) receives a business call while he is busy getting his hair cut, so Jared (brunette) helps out by answering the ringing telephone.

This Thinkprint will convince you that the toy telephone should be in every preschool as the perfect prop for language and social development. The Thinkprint ends with a page of suggestions for supporting language development through the use of toy telephones.

Devon: “Will you get the phone?”
Jared: (Off-camera) “Okay.”
Devon: (Makes a sound effect for the ringing phone)
“No, the big phone. (Pause) The white phone.”
Jared: (Extends the antenna on a black mobile phone)
Devon: “I’m tellin’ ya, the white phone!”
Jared: “The white phone. Oh.” (He sets the black phone
down, lifts the handset of the white phone
and says) "Hello.”
Devon: “Give it to me! (Pauses) It’s for me.”
Jared: “Here.” (Hands the phone to Devon)
Devon: (Puts handset to his ear and says) “Hamilton’s
Towing. Hamilton’s Towing.” (Pauses) “No.”
(Pauses) “You got a wreck?” (Pauses) “Oh.”
(Pauses) “I’m going. I’m getting hair cut.
I’m getting my hair cut right now. Bye.”

Keywords: Ones-Fives, Replica Toy, Child-Child, Communication, Mind of Other, Thinkprint

Length of videative: 14 text pages, 23 video subclips
Length of stand-alone master video clips: 6 minutes total across 23 clips