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Communication-friendly classrooms are those which accept that children communicate in a variety of ways which are very often visual but not always verbal.



Creating a communication friendly classroom

For example:

  • Children are taught using learning styles that acknowledge their developmental stage rather than their chronological age.
  • Teachers make eye contact when they name a child before giving a clear instruction.
  • Now and next boards or visual timetables are used to help children to understand the shape of the day.
  • Teachers use as many multi-sensory ways into a topic as possible.
  • Children record their thoughts using pictures and ICT instead of, or as well as, writing. Recordable talking albums are great for this.
  • Technology is used both as a teaching aid and to support learning.

In a communication-friendly class, the teacher is always conscious of the language demands being made of children, so they:

  • Simplify instructions.
  • Give children additional take-up time to respond to questions and requests.
  • Limit their use of idioms and metaphors and sarcasm. Model appropriate language structures which are only slightly in advance of those used by the children.
  • Break up lengthy teacher talk sessions with think-pair-share activities to allow children to take ‘brain-breaks’.
  • Acknowledge that many inappropriate behaviours may be due to communication difficulties and look at how they can adapt rather than expecting the child to change.

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