Harvington C of E First and Nursery School

‘Together we love, learn and grow’

Understanding language

Children need to understand and remember not only the words and sentences they hear but also understand how the context affects the meaning

  • Get their attention before giving them an instruction - call their name and wait for them to look at you     

  • Keep your language simple     

  • Chunk longer instructions into single steps     

  • Use pauses to break up longer pieces of information     

  • Give children time to process. Count to 10 before you repeat the instruction. Unless you are sure it was too hard, try to use the same words so you don't just give them more language to process     

  • Showing as well as telling ALWAYS helps. Use objects and pictures and gesture to support spoken information

Sometimes children who process information slowly may need visuals to help them make sense of the world around them and to follow instruction.

Visual pictures allow the child a point of reference when the spoken word is gone, it helps them follow an instruction given.


Visuals support routine and instruction when the spoken word has gone.