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Language and Communication Combine two key words 1  This resource has been viewed by a moderator.


To combine single words, signs or symbols to communicate meaning to a range of listeners, for example, 'Mummy gone' or 'more drink'

Early years skill:Speaking
Early years typical range:16-26m
P-scales/Curriculum skill:English Speaking
P-scales/Curriculum level:P5
TAP skill:Expressive Language
TAP level:TAP30
Pre/Nat. Curriculum Area:not specified
Pre/Nat. Curiculum Standard:not specified
Section:Early Years (0-5yrs) info; Primary (5-11yrs) info
Activity/strategy name and materials required How to do the activity Key principles for doing the activity and comments
Non directive play

Play equipment such as tea set, teddies, dolls; cars, bricks, play people etc.

Could also be done with outdoor play equipment or in any other play situation.

  1. Allow the child to play with the toys freely with the minimum amount of help or intervention;
  2. Using one or two keywords only comment on what the child is doing. For example teddy's got the apple; the bricks fell over; Fred's swinging.

Don't expect the child to say anything in this activity. The purpose of the activity is for them to get used to hearing two keyword phrases, which directly relates to what they are doing.

Sorting games

(1) Sets of pictures and two places to sort them to e.g. clothes pictures, furniture pictures, picture of a house, picture of a wardrobe.

or (2) Sets of clothes pictures and outlines of a boy and a girl to stick them to

or (3) Sets of objects and two places to sort them to.

For example with the clothes and furniture pictures activity:

  1. Introduce the pictures first. (The child should already know the names of the objects you use).
  2. Mix up and turn the clothes and furniture pictures over.
  3. Take it in turns to turn over the picture and say its name, and the place it goes, for example 'TV... House'.

The child may need to hear the model a number of times before they are able to start saying both words themselves.

Kim's game

A selection of about four to six objects, cloth to cover them.

  1. Introduce the objects to the child, making sure that they can say, sign, or point to the symbols for each object.
  2. Cover the objects up, first of all take one object away and get the child to guess which one went.
  3. Make it more difficult by taking two or more away.
Giving instructions in a physical activity

(Small group)

  1. Children to take it in turns to name a child and say what they must do - e.g. 'jump', 'sleep'.
  2. The child who is named chooses another child and another action.
As part of a range of classroom activities

No specific materials

  1. "Being the teacher" at tidy up time - asking for two items at a time to be put away;
  2. Asking for two things required for an activity;
  3. Giving simple instructions in an activity requiring one or two keywords (e.g. for using a tape recorder: you could encourage phrases such as 'open it', 'tape in', 'play', 'stop').

Favourite story and some toy figures or toy plastic animals from the story

  1. Share a favourite story;
  2. Take two small figures to represent characters in the story.
  3. Make the figures run/jump/talk/sleep etc like the characters in the story.
  4. Say 'Look...Goldilocks is eating .........the bears are walking' and make the figures do pretend eating/ walking etc.
  5. Give the figures to the child say 'Make Goldilocks eat ... make the bear walk'. And 'What is Goldilocks/the bear doing he/she is ......'
  6. We hope the child will say 'Goldilocks eating'.
Tea party

Plastic tea set and food and some soft toys

  1. Set up a tea party with plastic food and toy plates and figures or soft toys.
  2. The child is asked ofr example to "Give teddy the apple" "give tiger the cake" etc.
  3. The child has a go at telling you what to do.
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