Every Student

C1 - Talking - Abstract and Verbal Symbolic

Teaching Strategies

Guided practice »
Questioning »
Attribute meaning »
Role play »
Modelling »
Independent practice »
Incidental teaching »
Strategic pausing »
Prompting »
Shaping »


Teaching Opportunities

Morning circle
Structured play
Music sessions
Afternoon circle
Literacy sessions
Shared reading
Leisure time
Creative play
Work tasks
Outdoor play


Teaching Resources

Art supplies
Food items
Sentence strips
Felt boards
Dress up clothes
Walkie Talkies
Voice manipulators
BigMack switch
Interactive apps, software and websites
Interactive touch screen devices


Levels Of Support

Full Physical Assistance (FP) »
Partial Physical Assistance (PP) »
Modelled Response (M) »
Gesture/Sign (G/S) »
Verbal (V) »
Independent (I) »


Programming Proforma

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Assessment Strategies



Assessment Record

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Syllabus Outcomes and Content
Syllabus Outcomes

Early Stage 1 Outcomes (2012)

ENe-1A A student communicates with peers and known adults in informal and guided activities demonstrating emerging skills of group interaction

ENe-6B A student recognises that there are different kinds of spoken texts with specific language features and shows an emerging awareness of some purposes for spoken language 


Life Skills 7-10 Outcomes (2012)

ENLS-2A A student communicates for a variety of purposes, audiences and contexts

ENLS-3A A student selects and uses language to communicate according to purpose, audience and context

ENLS-4A A student views and responds to a range of visual texts, media and multimedia

ENLS-5A A student recognises and uses visual texts, media and multimedia for a variety of purposes, audiences and contexts

ENLS-6A A student reads and responds to a range of written texts in familiar contexts

ENLS-11B A student composes, publishes and presents texts appropriate to purpose and audience in a range of contexts

HSC Life Skills 11-12 Outcomes (2007)

HSC LS1.1 Gives attention to another person, an object or an event in their environment.

HSC LS1.6 Gives information, comments, asks questions spontaneously or on request

HSC LS1.8 Utilises appropriate technology, and a range of age-appropriate aids, to facilitate communication with others

HSC LS1.9 Initiates and sustains communication with others

HSC LS2.5 Conveys and relays messages

HSC LS2.9 Speaks with others in a range of formal and informal situations

HSC LS6.1 Recognises familiar objects and images when presented in a range of formats so as to make choices and communicate needs

Syllabus Content

Early Stage 1 (ENe) Content 


-respond to the shared reading of texts for enjoyment and pleasure  1A

-engage with and respond to a range of oral and aural texts for enjoyment and pleasure 1A

-understand how to communicate effectively in pairs and groups using agreed interpersonal 
conventions, active listening, appropriate language and taking turns 1A

-contribute appropriately to class discussions 1A

-replicate the rhythms and sound patterns in stories, rhymes, songs and poems from a range of cultures  1A

-recite short, simple poems 1A

-use music and/or actions to enhance the enjoyment and --understanding of rhymes, poems, chants and songs 6B



Life Skills (ENLS) Content 


-select and use appropriate means of communication, including technology, for a particular audience 2A

-contribute to class discussions using a range of skills, including turn-taking, questioning, rephrasing for clarification 2A

-use photographs, pictures, symbols and visual aids for a variety of purposes 5A


HSC Life Skills (LS) Content 


-convey information through vocalisation, gesture, sign, communication device or speech in response to initiation from others 1.6

-give information or comments on specific matters, in response to a question from others, in an appropriate manner using communication devices 1.6

-uses communication technology or aids with peer or adult assistance to communicate basic needs and wants, to convey information and indicate preferences in a range of situations 1.8

-convey a verbal message directly from one person to another (involving known and unknown people) in a range of situations using a single sentence 2.5

-speak with a known person (individually) in an appropriate manner (volume, tone, vocabulary, grammar) to convey basic information, express choices, or make requests in a range of situations 2.9

-speak with an unknown person (individually) in an appropriate manner (volume, tone, vocabulary, grammar) to con vey basic information, express choices, or make requests in a range of situations 2.9

-speak with several known people in an appropriate manner (volume, tone, vocabulary) in a range of small group situations 2.9

English Learning Continuum Content

Uses simple word utterances and sounds

Attempts to sing songs

Makes approximations to comment (verbal and augmentative)

Uses simple word utterances and sounds

Set up situations where a student is required to make a request for an item such as during mealtimes. Place the student’s drink in sight, but out of reach, and when the student signals for it say, “SN wants a drink.” Acknowledge all non-verbal communicative attempts, but expect the student to use a word utterance or sound by saying, “SN wants a drink. Use your words”. As soon as the student makes a word utterance or sound, give access to the drink and say, “Good talking. You used your words.” Respond immediately to the word utterance or sound to emphasise the link between word utterances and sounds and having a need met. This should encourage the student to verbalise more frequently.


Encourage students to play with toys that require them to use wordutterances or sounds such as walkie talkies, echo microphones, string telephones and voice manipulators. There are also a variety of apps that encourage students to use word utterances or sounds such as Talking Tom, Furry Friend and Voice Changer Plus. Use age appropriate activities and always praise the student for using word approximations. 


Encourage students to engage in imaginative play. Ideas for play should focus on themes students enjoy and should also be age appropriate. For senior students this is an opportune time to role-play community based situations such as shopping or eating at a restaurant. Always encourage students to use verbal language and praise all efforts. Imaginative play ideas include:


  • Tea parties
  • Dressing up
  • Puppets
  • Role play
  • Bathing a baby
  • Talking on the telephone
  • Felt boards
  • Building Lego structures
  • Drawing


Attempts to sing songs

Model and encourage students to sing simple songs of a repetitive nature. Assistive technology can support student engagement. For example, the song “What do you think my name is?” can be modelled using your own name then repeated to incorporate the student’s name. Assistive technology such as a BIGmack Communicator can be used to encourage the student to be actively involved in singing the song by pressing the button to hear their name before attempting to verbalise it independently. Strategically pause at the point of singing the student’s name to allow them the opportunity to press the switch and/or vocalise their name or use an approximation. Praise all student attempts at singing along.  


What do you think my name is?


What do you think my name is,

I wonder if you know?

 My name is ……………..

Hello, hello, hello, hello, hello, hello, hello.


Lyrics - Play School Team

Publisher – ABC Music Publishing


Making approximations to comment (verbal and augmentative)

Take advantage of incidental teaching opportunities where a student spontaneously responds to an event, action or situation with a vocalisation. For example, in a situation where a student vocalises in response to a touch from another student, attribute meaning to the vocalisation and say, “That’s right, SN (other student) needs to keep their hands and feet to themselves”. Where possible use symbols to support these opportunities.

When reading a story to students point to illustrations they should recognise. Model basic sentence starters by saying, “SN, look! I see …..” to encourage students to comment. Reinforce speech with a simple sentence strip using words and symbols. Emphasise the noun in the sentence and reinforce meaning by dramatising it in some form. For example, say ‘Meow’ for a cat or pretend to peel a banana. Encourage students to make their own comments about an illustration by asking, “SN, What do you see? Come and show me!” Provide students with the necessary amount of support to identify something in the illustration by asking them to point to it and/or select it from a choice of symbols. Once they have identified something they can see in the illustration, assist them to place the symbol onto a sentence strip. Model the comment one word at a time, point to the word/symbol on the sentence strip and strategically pause after each word to encourage them to make their own verbal approximation of the word by saying, “I”……, “see”……., “a”……, “dog” …… Praise the student for using their words to make a comment and repeat this process throughout the story. This same process of modelling and practising how to comment can be used throughout the day in a range of other activities. 


Key Assessment Points



Key Assessment Points

  • The level of prompting required for the student to complete a task should always be recorded.
  • Observation could occur throughout the school day in a variety of activities or during a structured assessment task. This could be captured on video or in photos and recorded in skill checklists/rubrics for analysis.
  • Consultation with outside agencies and therapists such as speech therapists may be able to provide additional assessment information.
  • Elicit responses from students through questioning to demonstrate the skills covered in this area.
  • Informal testing could be used to assess a student skills.



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