Ability to Listen

Ability to Talk

Birth - 11 Months

Turns towards a familiar sound then locates range of sounds with accuracy.  

Listens to, distinguishes and responds to intonations and sounds of voices.

Reacts in interaction with others by smiling, looking and moving.

Quietens or alerts to the sound of speech.

Looks intently at a person talking, but stops responding if speaker turns away.

Listens to familiar sounds, words or finger-plays.

Fleeting attention - not under child's control, new stimuli takes whole attention.

Stops & looks when hears own name. `

Starts to understand contextual clues, e.g. familiar gestures, words or sounds.

Communicates needs & feelings in a variety of ways including crying, gurgling, babbling and squealing.

Makes own sounds in response when talked to by familiar adults.

Lifts arms in anticipation of being picked up.

Practises & gradually develops speech sounds (babbling) to communicate with adults; says sounds like 'baba, nono, gogo'.

8 - 20 Months

Pays attention to dominant stimulus - easily distracted by noises of other people.

Developing the ability to follow others' body language, including pointing and gesture.

Understanding of single words in context is developing, e.g. 'cup', 'milk', 'daddy'.

Concentrates intently on an object or activity of own choosing for short periods.

Moves whole body to sounds they understand, such as music or a regular beat.

Has a strong exploratory impulse. Responds to the different things said when in a familiar context with a special person (e.g. 'Where's Mummy?', 'Where's your nose?).

Frequently imitates words and sounds.

Enjoys babbling and increasingly experiments with using sounds and words to communicate for a range of purposes (e.g. teddy, more, no, bye-bye.)

Uses single words

. Use sound in play, e.g. 'brmm' for toy car.

Uses pointing with eye gaze to make requests, & to share an interest.

Creates personal words as they begin to develop language.

16 - 26 Months

Rigid attention - may appear not to hear.

Selects familiar objects by name and will go & find objects when asked, or identify objects from a group.

Listens to & enjoys rhythmic patterns in rhymes & stories.

Understand simple sentences (e.g. 'Throw the ball.')

Enjoys rhymes & demonstrates listening by trying to join in with actions or vocalisations.

Copies familiar expressions, e.g. 'Oh dear', 'All gone'.

Uses different types of everyday words (nouns, verbs & adjectives, e.g. banana, go. sleep, hot').

Beginning to put two words together (e.g. 'want ball', 'more juice'. Beginning to ask simple questions.

Beginning to talk about people & things that are not present.

22 - 36 Months

Listens with interest to the noises adults make when they read stories.

Single channeled attention.

Can shift to a different task if attention fully obtained - using child's name helps focus.

Shows interest in play with sounds, songs and rhymes.

Recognises and responds to many familiar sounds, e.g. turning to a knock on the door, looking at or going to the door.

Identifies action words by pointing to the right picture, e.g. "Who's jumping?"

Understands more complex sentences, e.g. "Put your toys away and then we'll read a book."

Understands 'who', 'what', 'where' in simple questions (e.g. Who's that, What's that?, Where is?)

Developing understanding of simple concepts, e.g. big / little.

Learns new words very rapidly and is able to use them in communicating.

Uses a variety of questions, e.g. what, where, who. Uses simple sentences, e.g. 'Mummy gonna work.'

Beginning to use word endings, e.g. going, cats.

Uses language as a powerful means of widening contacts, sharing feelings, experiences and thoughts.

Holds a conversations, jumping from topic to topic.

Uses gesture, sometimes with limited talk, e.g. reaches towards a toy, saying 'I have it.'

30 - 50 Months

Listens to others one to one or in small groups, when conversation interests them.

Focusing attention - still listen or do, but can shift own attention.

Joins in with repeated refrains and anticipates key events & phrases in rhymes and stories.

Is able to follow directions (if not intently focused on own choice of activity.)

Understands use of objects, e,g, 'What do we use to cut things?'

Shows understanding of prepositions such as 'under', 'on top', 'behind' by carrying out an action or selecting correct picture.

Responds to simple instruction, e.g. to get or put away an object.

Beginning to understand 'why' and 'how' questions.

Listens to stories with increasing attention and recall.

Uses vocabulary focused on objects and people that are of particular importance to them.

Builds up vocabulary that reflects the breadth of their experiences.

Can retell a simple past event in correct order (e.g. went down slide, hurt finger.)

Beginning to use more complex sentences to link own thoughts, e.g. using 'and', 'because.'

Uses talk to connect ideas, explain what is happening and anticipate what might happen next, recall and relive past experiences.

Uses talk in pretending that objects stand for something else in play, e.g. 'This box is my castle.' Uses a range of tenses, e.g. play, playing, will play, played.

Uses intonation, rhythm and phrasing to make the meaning clear to others.

Questions why things happen and gives explanations. Asks who, what, when and how.

40 - 60 Months

Maintains attention, concentrates and sits quietly during appropriate activity.

Two-channelled attention - can listen and do for short span. Responds to instructions involving a two-part sequence.

Understands humour e.g. nonsense rhymes, jokes.

Able to follow a story without pictures or prompts.

Listens and responds to ideas expressed by others in conversation or discussion.

Links statements and sticks to main theme or intention.

Uses language to imagine and recreate roles and experiences in play situations.

Introduces a storyline or narrative into their play.

Extends vocabulary, especially by grouping and naming, exploring meaning and sounds of new words.

Uses talk to organise, sequence and clarify thinking, ideas, feelings and events.

Early Learning Goal

Children listen attentively in a range of situations.

They listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events and respond to what they hear with relevant comments, questions or actions.

They give their attention to what others say and respond appropriately, while engaged in another activity.

Children follow instructions involving several ideas or actions.

They answer 'how' and 'why' questions about their experiences and in response to stories and events.

Children express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners' needs.

They use past, present and future forms accurately when talking about events that have happened or are to happen in the future.

They develop their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events.

Age 5-6

They listen to others and usually respond appropriately to questions and instructions.

Can listen attentively to talk for short periods of time

Use eye-contact and gesture to show that they are actively listening to someone else.

Pupils talk about matters of immediate interest.

They convey simple meanings to a range of listeners and begin to extend their ideas or accounts by providing some detail.

Pupils speak clearly and audibly in conversation.

Pupils begin to add detail and description to their talk.

Age 6-7

Pupils begin to show confidence in listening, particularly where the topics interest them.  

They usually listen carefully and respond with increasing appropriateness to what others say.

Responds accurately to instructions involving multiple steps

Uses a range of strategies to show their ability to listen and ensure the talk is being focused upon

Pupils begin to show confidence in talking, particularly where the topics interest them.

In developing and explaining their ideas they speak clearly and use a growing vocabulary.

They are beginning to be aware that in some situations a more formal vocabulary and tone of voice are used.

On occasions, they show awareness of the needs of the listener by including relevant detail and expanding ideas.

Age 7-8

In discussion, they show that they can follow and understand the main points of a conversation.

Through relevant comments and questions, they show they have listened carefully.

Responds to others point of view in relation to their own

Pupils talk and listen confidently in different contexts, that are concrete, exploring and communicating ideas.

They begin to adapt what they say to the needs of the listener, varying the use of vocabulary and the level of detail.

They are beginning to be aware of standard English and when it is used.

They can express simple opinions.

Age 8-9

Listen carefully to dialogue and understand the focus of the talk

Respond appropriately to talk, meeting the needs of others

Can suggest changes to improve talk from listening attentively

Children beginning to identify use of Standard English in talk and the appropriateness of it

Can evaluate talk of others and suggest ways of improvement

Can listen and respond appropriately to others point of view

Talks confidently in a range of contexts including some that are of less interest to the individual

Talk is generally adapted to meet the purpose

Talk is organised and includes thoughtful descriptions where appropriate

Use of standard English is becoming evident through talk

Can evaluate talk and suggest ways to improve

Age 9-10

Can listen in a range of contexts, including some formal and as part of differing audiences

Can listen attentively to a range of talk styles including some of lesser interest to the individual

Listens attentively to peers and adults and can respond appropriately regarding more complex ideas

Can listen and respond appropriately to others point of view

Talk is adapted to purpose to engage the listener.

Pupils ask relevant questions to extend their understanding and knowledge.

Can engage clearly with adults and peers with confidence

Age 10-11

Can listen in a range of contexts including formal and informal

`Listens carefully and able to ask questions while offering comments that are responsive to others views and agendas

Able to evaluate the quality of their own individual talk and understand how positive changes can improve performance

Able to respond appropriately where talk is more challenging, requiring the child to understand the situation and point of view of others

Talk contains a variety of expression and challenging vocabulary showing understanding of the conversation

Can express opinions, with reasons for views in purposeful talk, that considers opposing views within conversation

Confident to use correct standard English in a variety of formalised situations

Able to evaluate the quality of their own individual talk and understand how positive changes can improve performance

Can communicate clearly with a range of audiences of different ages showing understanding of the audience present

Can talk with confidence

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