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Your guide to developing Early Language Skills – Listening and Attention We have worked with the communication charity I CAN to develop this guide on developing good listening and attentions skills. Listening and attention are the most fundamental skills required for learning to talk. This area is specified in the Early Years Foundation Stage profile as […]



Your guide to developing Early Language Skills – Listening and Attention

We have worked with the communication charity I CAN to develop this guide on developing good listening and attentions skills.

Listening and attention are the most fundamental skills required for learning to talk. This area is specified in the Early Years Foundation Stage profile as ELG01.

Rhythm and Rhyme

Rhythm and rhyme help babies, toddlers and young children to focus on the sounds of language. It can also provide a focus for opportunities to interact on a one to one or small group basis. The repetitive nature of songs and rhymes mean that children learn to predict what’s coming next and when they are ready they can join in.

Sing it Bag

Kate says…….Use the rhyming books to encourage children to become familiar with well-known stories and help them tune into rhyme. Or sing songs from the ‘sing it’ bag and link them to new vocabulary through the pictures in the bag. The important aspect of learning about rhythm and rhyme is that children can hear how words sounds, so use small group or one to one time to share these resources together.

Storytime / Traditional Stories

Children love hearing the same stories over and over again and research shows that sharing stories with children has positive benefits on their intellectual and communication development. Lots of traditional stories can be revisited through role play, small world activities and they provide great opportunities for vocabulary learning.

Time to Talk Fairytale Baskey

Kate says…..Have these books available for children to pick up and look at themselves, as well as sharing them in group or one to one times. Set up your space with linked resources, such as different sized bowls, plates, spoons and cups in the role play area and different sized furniture for different sized bears.

Familiar Sounds

Encouraging children to listen to sounds is one of the very first steps in learning to talk. This is important whether it is sounds in the environment, musical instruments or the human voice. Listening encourages children to make sense of what they hear and to link sound with meaning. Transforming hearing to listening is a ‘must’ for good communication skills.

Sound Around

Kate says……Encourage babies, toddlers and young children to listen to sounds that they hear in their environment; introduce them to the sounds that different animals or instruments make; or with slightly older children, make your own recordings of sounds and voices and have fun listening back to them together.

Your guide to developing Early Language Skills

We have developed this guide to support you in laying the foundations of good communication skills. Working with I CAN we have been able to put together a series of four guides featuring specialist advice to assist you in Early Language Development.

The series covers the following areas:

View a copy of the Communication and Language Guide here

Kate Freeman

Meet our specialist Kate Freeman

Kate Freeman has helped us to develop this guide. She is a lead I CAN Communication Advisor, specialising in early year’s speech and language development (from birth to five). Kate is a qualified Speech and Language Therapist with over twenty years’ experience in the field of paediatrics. She carries out training courses for teachers, SENCOs, speech and language therapists and a wealth of other professionals and parents as part of I CAN’s programmes.

Have fun with communication and help support I CAN by holding a sponsored sing-along as part of the Chatterbox Challenge register at http://www.chatterboxchallenge.org.uk/

ICAN Chatterbox Challenge


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2 thoughts on “Early Years Communication – Listening and Attention”

  1. Donna standish says:

    Please could you sent me some information for preschool children in speaking and listening thank you

    1. TTS Group says:

      Hi, we have the Language & Communication resource guide online and our resources are sectioned into easy to browse areas on our website. Thanks

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