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Supporting your child's learning – Talking and Listening in K-6

Other parent information -
Supporting your child's learning -
Reading in K-6
Spelling in K-6
Talking and Listening in K-6
Writing in K-6


Children develop confidence using spoken language as they learn to talk and listen for different purposes. Talking enables children to clarify their ideas, explore issues, solve problems and to develop understandings in all Key Learning Areas.

Stage 1 – In Kindergarten to Year 2 children learn gradually to:

  • engage in conversation with other children and teachers

  • participate in 'news'

  • participate in language games

  • listen for patterns of sounds in words

  • use and respond appropriately to greetings, introductions, farewells

  • recite poems, chants and rhymes

  • ask a variety of appropriate questions

  • listen and respond to others in group discussions

  • engage in dramatic play

  • express feelings and ideas

  • retell a story heard or read

  • give and follow a simple set of instructions

  • contribute ideas and suggestions to discussions.

Stage 2 – In Years 3 to 4 children learn gradually to:

  • enjoy using language to explore ideas, issues and feelings

  • listen to guest speakers, spoken cassettes, television and radio programs

  • recite poems and rhymes

  • use spoken language to persuade others towards a point of view or course of action

  • discuss and debate issues

  • use different kinds of questions to interview, research, and classify meaning

  • prepare and present information reports and projects

  • discuss events, incidents, people and personal experiences.

Stage 3 – In Years 5 to 6 children learn gradually to:

  • prepare, present or perform spoken texts to different audiences

  • present a point of view on an issue and argue a case

  • engage in debates

  • use appropriate pitch, pace, pause and emphasis in public speaking and performance

  • retell stories heard and read, changing their voice to indicate different characters

  • listen and respond to points of view presented by others in group and class discussion

  • respond to spoken texts in a variety of ways.

Your child has learned to talk and listen with your help and encouragement. You can continue to support your child's language development at school by doing some of the following:

  • actively listen and respond to your child's talk

  • encourage your child to talk about their interests, friends, pets, favourite books and favourite movies

  • show your child ways of talking for different purposes, eg using the telephone, inviting a friend to play, giving a message

  • encourage your child to talk about television, video and radio programs

  • give your child a series of instructions to follow

  • encourage your child to give messages to other family members

  • encourage your child to play a variety of games such as 'The Shopping Game' (one child begins by saying 'I went shopping and bought an apple'. Each child has to remember what has been said before and add a new shopping item)

  • encourage your child to talk about things they have made using blocks, plasticine, cardboard and/or junk material

  • encourage your child to listen to stories being read by family members

  • have your child listen to stories and retell them to friends and family

  • encourage your child to talk about drawings, paintings and models that they bring home from school

  • encourage your child to read a variety of books and to retell the story in their own words

  • encourage your child to read a variety of non-fiction (factual texts) and talk about the information presented in these

  • encourage your child to talk about their imaginary play

  • encourage your child to talk to known adults as well as other children

  • plan and discuss family outings, eg going to the beach, park, friend's place, movie, zoo, museum, art gallery, sports events

  • encourage your child to discuss and debate issues in the news and newspapers.

For further information contact:

Board of Studies NSW
GPO Box 5300, Sydney NSW 2001
Tel: (02) 9367 8111 Fax: (02) 9262 6270

Resources available from the Board of Studies Sales Desk (02) 9367 8178

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