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Language and Communication Activities and strategies to develop a student's ability to ask for clarification/help/repetition  This resource has been viewed by a moderator.


These activities provide a structured way to encourage a student to be able to ask for clarification, help or for information to be repeated. Student who have speech, language and communication needs can find it hard to know when to ask for help and how to do it.

- Talk to your student about not understanding or getting stuck. Model to them the words they could use and what they could do to get the adults attention.
- Talk through the different options they have for letting somebody know they need help - these options might differ in different situations.
- It may be useful to introduce some visual cue cards that the student could give to an adult if they are unable to think of the words to say. Click here for examples.
- Use some of the activities below to help your student practice using these skills in structured situations.
- Praise your student when you see them asking for clarification/help.

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Early years skill:not specified
Early years typical range:not specified
P-scales/Curriculum skill:English Speaking
P-scales/Curriculum level:L3
TAP skill:Expressive Language
TAP level:TAP84
Pre/Nat. Curriculum Area:not specified
Pre/Nat. Curiculum Standard:not specified
Section:Primary (5-11yrs) info; Secondary (11-16yrs) info
Activity/strategy name and materials required How to do the activity Key principles for doing the activity and comments
Barrier games

- 2 identical black and white pictures. 

- Pens/pencils

- A barrier (e.g. a large book)

1. Play a barrier game:

  • each person in the game has an identical outline drawing;
  • one person, whose drawing is hidden behind a barrier gives instructions to the others to modify their pictures (e.g. colour some things in, draw objects in particular places).

2. Give a confusing instruction so that the others need to ask for clarification. For example, ask them to colour something that is not on the sheet, to use a colour that is not available.

3. Watch their reaction - if the student lets you know that the instruction is impossible, praise them for this. If the student does not say anything, ask them if there is a problem and talk about hte words that they could use to let you know.

Alien game

- Picture of an alien

- Some everyday objects

1. Explain to the student that an alien has come to earth and does not know the English word for some things and they have to try and work out what the alien is talking about.

2. Choose one of the items without the student knowing which one it is. Get the alien to ask the student for an object using an alien word, e.g. 'Can I have the kazooble please?'

3. The student will have to ask questions about the items to try and work out which one the alien is talking about. 


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