Every Student

C2 - Listening & Responding - Abstract and Verbal Symbolic

Teaching Strategies

Guided practice »
Errorless learning »
Questioning »
Modelling »
Prompting »
Scaffolding »


Teaching Opportunities

Shared reading
Familiar routines
Technology sessions
Group games
Cooking sessions


Teaching Resources

Paper plates
Photographic device
Art supplies
Turn taking board
Mystery bag
Message board
Facial expression images
Sentence strips
Student photos
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-2A A student composes simple texts to convey an idea or message

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

ENe-12E A student demonstrates awareness of how to reflect on aspects of their own and others’ learning


Life Skills 7-10 Outcomes (2012)

ENLS-1A A student listens and responds in familiar contexts

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

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-14D A student explores how the use of language affects personal roles and relationships with others


HSC Life Skills 11-12 Outcomes (2007)

LS3.2 Listens and responds to verbal messages and associated visual cues.

LS3.3 Listens to and follows directions and announcements in a variety of contexts and media.

LS3.4 Listens to and responds appropriately to a variety of presentations in a variety of media.



Syllabus Content

Early Stage 1 (ENe) Content 


-carry out instructions involving one step 1A

-listen to and respond orally to texts and to the communication of others in informal and 
structured classroom situations 1A

-respond to simple questions either verbally or non-verbally  1A

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

-use interaction skills including listening while others speak, using appropriate voice levels, 
articulation and body language, gestures and eye contact 1A

-recognise different methods of communication 2A

-recognise and interpret a simple instruction from teachers and peers 6B

-discuss what it means to be an active listener 12E





Life Skills (ENLS) Content 


-respond to verbal cues 1A

-respond to single-word commands 1A

-respond to commands involving a single step1A

-respond to commands involving more than one step 1A

-recognise a variety of auditory cues occurring in the -environment 1A

-recognise non-verbal indicators associated with listening 1A

-recognise and demonstrate appropriate listening behaviours 1A

-respond to auditory cues through body language 1A

 -respond to questions during an interaction to indicate understanding 2A

-respond to familiar auditory cues and signals 5A

-recognise and interpret single words or simple instructions in context 6A

-recognise that gestures and eye contact may be interpreted differently across cultures 14D



HSC Life Skills (LS) Content 


-respond to verbal requests accompanied by gestures or signs in a range of situations 3.2

-assess the body language and facial expression of a speaker while listening to their verbal message and make appropriate responses 3.2

 - respond to simple directions from a variety of people across a range of settings 3.3

-follow complex directions requiring multiple steps 3.3

-follow directions for new procedures in a range of situations 3.3

-interpret public announcements in a range of situations and take appropriate action 3.3

-listen and demonstrate acceptable behaviour in small and large groups 3.4

-listen to a variety of presentations in the community 3.4

-listen while others are talking in a variety of situations 3.4

-listen to a speaker and wait for an appropriate opportunity to respond 3.5


English Learning Continuum Content

Discriminates own name from other names when spoken or represented

Discriminates key spoken words 


Engages with an unfamiliar person

Listens and follows simple instructions and questions related to here & now

Listens and responds to questions in a group setting Identifies and demonstrates facial expressions in visual and real forms

Discriminates own name from other names when spoken or represented

Use familiar routines and activities to encourage students to listen for and discriminate their own name from other names. Place students' photos on a turn taking board. When it is a particular student’s turn, point to their photo then call their name. As students learn to discriminate their own name from other names fade the visual cues. 


Discriminates key spoken words

Play games such as ‘Simon Says’ to teach key words such as 'sit', 'stand' and 'jump'. Model the required actions whilst holding up the corresponding PCS and/or using Key Word Sign to support student understanding. Gradually fade the visual supports as students learn to discriminate words.


Apps such as ‘Proloquo2Go’ can encourage students to listen to the spoken word from different sources. Encourage students to press icons and listen to the words spoken. Where possible, encourage students to find or complete the action of the spoken word. Ensure the words available are familiar. Change the gender and accent of the voice where possible.


Engages with an unfamiliar person

Use programs such as Boardmaker made by Mayer-Johnson to create a message board to send a student on a message within the school. Explicitly teach the student how to use and read a message board. Assist the student to locate the appropriate person, relay the message and return. Gradually fade the level of support required. Initially, students should practise using the message board to take a message to a familiar person before they take a message to an unfamiliar person.



Listens and follows simple instructions and questions related to here & now

During familiar routine activities, such as cooking, give a student simple instructions supported by a visual sentence strip to gather required items. Ensure each visual on the sentence strip is pointed to as it is read aloud and allow the student to take the sentence strip whilst completing the task. Fade the use of the visual sentence strip as the student shows independence with the task.


During shared reading of a picture book, stop on an interesting illustration. Ask students to answer simple questions directly relating to it such as “SN show me the ….” or “SN where is the …?” Initially, questions could be supported by PCS.


Listens and responds to questions in a group setting

Play motivating group games such as ‘Mystery Bag’ to encourage students to listen and respond to questions. Select an item from the bag and hold it up for students to see. Ask a particular student from the group simple questions relating to the object such as “SN what is this?” , “SN what colour is this?” or “SN how does this feel?” Provide the least amount of prompting necessary to ensure the student successfully answers the question. Immediately praise the student and provide access to the item for a short period of time. If necessary use alternative communication devices to support student responses.

Ask questions during familiar routine activities. For example, if a hat is required before going out to the playground say to students, “It is time for recess. What do we need on our head to go to the playground?” Provide the least amount of prompting necessary to ensure students successfully answer the question with ‘hat’ and immediately praise. Repeat the question if required and wait for students to answer before allowing them to transition to the playground.


Identifies and demonstrates facial expressions in visual and real forms

Each week model a new facial expression for students and name it. Exaggerate the facial expression to ensure students can clearly determine the meaning of the expression. Encourage students to imitate the facial expression and use a photographic device to capture it. Label and display images of facial expression around the classroom.


Play facial expression guessing games where students are required to guess the facial expression made by another person. Nominate a student from the group by passing a beanbag to them. Ask the student to make any facial expression they wish. Assist students to guess the facial expression made. Repeat with the remaining students in the group.


Use photographs of students from the previous activity to make artworks. Select a specific facial expression as the model for the artwork. Provide students with different parts of the face on coloured paper along with a paper plate. Provide the least amount of assistance required for students to recreate the modelled expression.


Practise identifying different facial expressions by playing the ‘Find the …’ game with students. Show students a variety of images depicting different facial expressions. Place the images in different areas around the room. Ask a student to find a specific facial expressions by saying, “SN, find the … face.” Encourage the student to return the image once it is found. Repeat the process with the remaining images. 


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.
  • Informal testing could be used to assess a student’s ability to listen and respond appropriately.
  • Consultation with outside agencies and therapists such as speech therapists may be able to provide additional assessment information.




Suggested Apps


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