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Speaking & Listening

Speaking and Listening

Children are encouraged to develop effective communication skills by being given constant opportunities to:


  •     Listen to and make sense of what they hear;
  •     Follow verbal instructions;
  •     Understand what good listening is and how to respond during  discussions, conversations and when information is given or asked for;
  •     Communicate their needs through an appropriate method;
  •     Use communication, including talk, to develop and express their ideas;
  •     Develop the skills of turn taking and working collaboratively with others;
  •     Be taught in a way that specifically targets and supports their speech and language needs;
  •     Develop an extensive, functional vocabulary to support life and learning.


Teachers use a variety of strategies to support and engage children in their development of skills in speaking and listening including whole class, group and paired activities, drama and the use of technology such as ‘talking tins’ and ‘easi-speak’ microphones. We refer to ‘Progression in Language Structures’ (Tower Hamlets EMA Team 2009) to plan for progress in academic English and to help build children’s confidence and competence in their use of spoken English. Some children who need additional support undertake programmes such as ‘Racing to English’, ‘Talking Together’ and ‘Ginger Bear’ or speech and language programmes to develop their confidence and fluency.