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Strategies for eliciting single words/short phrases/gestures  This resource has been viewed by a moderator.

Early years skill:Speaking
Early years typical range:22-36m
P-scales/Curriculum skill:English Speaking
P-scales/Curriculum level:P4-P8
TAP skill:Language Expression
TAP level:TAP37-54
Pre/Nat. Curriculum Area:not specified
Pre/Nat. Curiculum Standard:not specified
Section:Early Years (0-5yrs) info; Primary (5-11yrs) info
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Activity name/materials Instructions Comments

Wrong picture names!


Set of pictures of everyday objects - these should be cards that the child knows the names of

  1. Put the set of picture cards face down in front of you;
  2. Turn over the picture cards one by one and name each one to the child;
  3. After naming a few, name a picture card incorrectly - e.g. "rabbit" instead of "ball";
  4. See if the child notices or corrects you;
  5. Continue naming the pictures in this way, occasionally getting the name wrong, and seeing what the child does;

See comments on the right for what to do if the child does not correct you.

If the child does not correct you, you can:

  • wait a little bit before continuing when you say the object's name incorrectly;
  • look puzzled/confused as if suddenly realising your mistake - see if they then try to say what it reaaly is;
  • correct yourself - e.g. "oh no, it's not a rabbit, it's a ball!"



Pot of bubbles liquid with "wand" that you unscrew to blow the bubbles

  • Show the bubbles container to the child, go step by step through getting from the closed container to having bubbles, e.g.:
    • open the lid;
    • take it out;
    • blow (the stick);
  • Say "let's do it again", and then look confused as if you can't remember what to do - see if the child can tell you;
  • Respond to whatever they say or indicate - e.g. if they indicate blow -try blowing even though the lid is still on.

Note, the child should be interested in bubbles for this activity to work.


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