Every Student

C2 - Listening & Responding - Concrete Symbolic

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

Acknowledges and/or responds to gestures

Responds to own name and key words when spoken or represented (consider hearing impairment) Recognises people
Responds to simple instructions and questions related to here & now Matches facial expressions   

Acknowledges and/or responds to gestures

Hold a preferred item in front of a student and say, “SN if you want ….., you need to come” whilst using the sign for ‘come’. As the student moves towards the preferred item say, “Well done, SN. You came. You can have……..”. Repeat the same activity using other common signs or gestures such as ‘wait’, ‘sit’ or ‘stop’. Reinforce this response by playing instructional games such as ‘Simon Says’ or ‘Follow the Leader’.


Responds to own name and key words when spoken or represented (consider hearing impairment)

Pair a student’s name with a one-word instruction during familiar routine activities. Use visual cues such as gesture, photographs, symbols and/or flashcards to support the verbal instruction. These visual cues could represent familiar routine activities such as unpacking bags, toileting or eating. As soon as the student responds to their name and instruction praise the student by saying, “Good listening SN”.


Use activities where students are required to wait for their turn, such as the trampoline or the liberty swing to encourage a response to their name and the keyword ‘wait’. Say the student’s name whilst pointing to a turn-taking board with the student’s photo on the ‘wait’ side. As soon as it is the student’s turn place the ’now’ symbol around their photo and say/sign “SN, it’s your turn now”.


Recognises people

Model identifying people by holding up a placemat at mealtimes with a student’s photo on it. Identify the student in the photo saying, “SN this is your placemat” and give them the placemat. Ask another student to hand out the remaining placemats to the correct students. Intervene where necessary to ensure no errors are made. This procedure could be modified and used during morning circle when handing out student items or packing away student items.


View images of students in the class engaging in different school activities. Point to a student in the photo and say, “This is ….” Nominate another student to point to the student in the photo. Use the least amount of prompting required to assist the student to make the identification.


Responds to simple instructions and questions related to here & now

During desk work sessions, assist the student to follow a simple schedule board containing three activities represented by a real object, remnant, photo or symbol. Ask the student to identify the first activity on the board and say, “SN, put the ….. on the ‘now’ sign.” Use the appropriate level of prompting to assist them to remove the real object, remnant, photo or symbol from the board and place it on the ‘now’ symbol. When the activity is completed say, “SN, …. is finished. Put the ….. into the ‘finished’ box.” Assist the student to put the real object, remnant, photo or symbol into the ‘finished’ box. Ask, “What’s next?” and use the appropriate level of prompting to assist the student to identify the next activity. Continue in this manner until all activities have been completed.


Play the musical ‘statues’ game with the class. Explain that students can move or dance when the music plays, but must stay still when it stops and they hear the word “Freeze.” Start the music playing and encourage students to move or dance. After a short time pause the music and say “Freeze!” Use the appropriate level of prompting to ensure that students stop moving. Start the music again and repeat the activity. As students become more confident in following the instructions, the game can be played more conventionally and students who continue to move after the music has stopped are required to sit down until only one student is left.   


Matches facial expressions

Show a student a picture or photographic representation of a common facial expression such as happy, sad and angry. Model the facial expression for the student whilst holding the picture/photographic representation beside your face. Say to the student, “It is SN’s turn!” Hold a mirror or photographic device in front of them and encourage them to make the facial expression so that it matches the sample picture/photographic representation. Praise the student for all attempts to change their facial expression. Repeat this activity using different facial expressions. Take photos of the student’s facial expressions and print them out for the student as a reward.


Use apps that allow students to see themselves on the screen and manipulate or distort their image in some way as a motivator to change their facial expression. Identify, label and attribute meaning to any changes in facial expression made by the student.


Use the activity above to interact with the student focusing on facial expressions. Observe any change in the student’s facial expression and mimic it. Ensure your facial expressions are exaggerated. Label and attribute meaning to the facial expressions by saying “SN is …. You feel ….”.


Use photographic devices to capture different facial expressions made by the student. View and comment on each image with the student. Match your tone of voice and facial expression to the photo.


Use apps such as ‘Inclusive Smarty Pants’ to stimulate changes and encourage students to match a variety of different facial expressions.


Place symbols representing a variety of facial expressions on a large dice to use in games with students. Assist students to take turns rolling the dice and then to:

  • find the symbol that represents the same facial expression
  • make the facial expression shown on the dice
  • cross off the matching facial expression on a BINGO card


Provide opportunities for students to use apps that show facial expressions reflecting different emotions.



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


Inclusive Smarty Pants
ABA Flashcards & Games - Emotions
Emotions and Feelings Social Story
Expressions for Autism
Photo Booth