Classroom Strategies

When supporting a child or young person with SLCN in the classroom, it is important to consider the learning environment and your language.

Here are Five Golden Rules in order to help children and/or young persons with SLCN improve to access the curriculum:

  • make it visual
  • chunk information into small sentences
  • give the child time to think and respond
  • pre-tutor and review vocabulary
  • give instructions in sequential order

Other aspects you may want to consider

  • Classroom environment - an organised classroom learning environment should have equipment well organised and labelled. 
  • Visual timetable - this should be a combination of words and pictures.  Key subject/activity should be displayed with the capacity to move individual items. 
  • Visual support systems - Symbols, drawing, prompt cards and photos can be used to support teaching e.g. learning outcomes, specific vocabulary, to sequence the steps within an activity.
  • Wall displays - Key vocabulary should be highlighted as part of each display and supported with pictures/symbols which can be developed as topics progress
  • Multi-sensory teaching - Teaching should use visual, auditory, and tactile approaches including play, resources, practical activities, pictures and videos
  • Recording frameworks - different frameworks could be given for children and/or young persons to organise, sequence and record their learning. These include mind maps, word maps, charts and different sorting diagrams

Resources for Classroom

  • Inclusion Development Programmed: SLCN (2011) Department for Education
  • Hayden S. & Jordan E. - Language for Learning across the Curriculum, a practical guide for supporting pupils with speech, language and communication needs.
  • Language for Learning in the Secondary School - Hayden and Jordan, 2012, David Fulton
  • Mind Maps for Kids - Buzan, T (2003)
  • I CAN Classroom strategies
  • What works -
  • Language Builders: 5-11 years and 11-16 years -

For older primary and secondary schools please also refer to the following resources where strategies have been grouped according to the type of difficulties that students are likely to present in classrooms, how curriculum access and progression is affected as well as everyday learning and social interaction.

The following older primary and secondary resources can be found in the Resources Section

  • Attention and Listening skills
  • Memory
  • Vocabulary for understanding and expression
  • Receptive Language:  Following instructions
  • Receptive Language: Grammar and Structure
  • Receptive Language:  Verbal reasoning
  • Expressive Language: Oral Narrative Skills
  • Expressive Language: speech clarity and dysfluency
  • Expressive Language: Grammar and structure
  • Functional use of Language:  Maths language
  • Functional use of Language: Study Skills
  • Functional use of Language: Sequencing, organisational 
  • Functional use of Language: Independent learning
  • Functional use of Language: Conversational skills
  • Functional use of Language: Semantic pragmatic skills

Please note that these information sheets, along with some additional teaching and teaching assistant strategy materials, may be found in the SLCN Resources section of this website

Additional materials include:

  • Questioning techniques
  • Language learning model: Blank, Rosen and Berlin(1978)
  • Thinking Skills
  • Strategies for an inclusion friendly environment
  • Guidelines for Teaching Assistants