Every Student

C2 - Listening & Responding - Intentional

Teaching Strategies

Attribute meaning »
Sensory stimulation »
Motivators »
Modelling »
Contingent responding »
Incidental teaching »
Strategic pausing »
Prompting »
Shaping »


Teaching Opportunities

Morning circle
Toy play
Music sessions
Afternoon circle
Community access
Environmental walks
Technology sessions
Leisure time
Sensory play
Outdoor play


Teaching Resources

Preferred sounds
Photographic device
Noisy toys
Music videos
Chat boards
Musical instruments
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

Interacts with people, objects and familiar sounds
Responds to own name Vocalises in response

Interacts with a familiar communication partner Briefly focuses Maintains attention
Listens Changes facial expressions Interacts using facial expressions

Interacts with people, objects and familiar sounds

During morning circle, use a switch to greet students and provide opportunities for them to do the same. Touch the switch to play the greeting and place it close to the student. Wait for them to make an attempt to move toward the switch. Immediately respond to this movement, providing the least amount of support required to shape the movement into a switch press. If the student does not attempt to move toward the switch, use full physical support to allow the student to press the switch. Respond enthusiastically by saying, “Good Morning SN!” Repeat this activity daily, fading the level of support required.


Use motivating toys, equipment or apps to encourage student interaction with a variety of familiar objects and sounds. Provide the least amount of support required to engage the student with the item or activity. Resources such as Look Hear!, SoundBook, Sound Touch and Interactive Baby Sound encourage students to listen to a variety of familiar sounds.


On environmental walks listen for a variety of sounds. Use apps such as Soundboard HD to record the sounds and take photos representing them. 


Responds to own name

Say the student’s name whilst making a preferred sound and/or offering a noisy toy to attract their attention. When the student shows a reaction say, “SN! That is your name! SN!” Gradually fade the use of the preferred sound or noisy toy to shape this reaction to an intentional response to his or her own name.


Frequently use student names throughout the day and praise them every time a student responds to their own name.


Vocalises in response

Use a chat board containing pictures of familiar people, places and/or things to encourage the student to respond. When the student makes a particular reflex vocalisation consistently attribute meaning to it in order to shape this into a meaningful response. Some freely available chat boards are available from the Queensland Government's, Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disabilities, Communication in Play website which you can access by clicking here.


Consistently respond and attribute meaning to any vocalisation the student may make about something that has occurred in their immediate environment.


Interacts with a familiar communication partner

During a music session say, “Let’s sing together” to establish a communicative context. Play a preferred song and stop it suddenly to evoke a response from the student. If the student changes body position, vocalises or shifts eye gaze attribute meaning to these responses by saying, “SN wants more…” and resume singing/playing the music immediately. This could be applied to a variety of activities such as liberty swing, seesaw, eating times and bubbles.


Briefly focuses

Auditory toys or percussion instruments can be used to play a sound near the student. Watch for any reaction such as a body movement, eye gaze or vocalisation and attribute meaning to the response by saying, “SN can hear the … Good listening.” Offer the source of the sound to the student for a short amount of time to reinforce their response. Repeat this activity.


Maintains attention

Gain a student’s attention with a preferred music video. Whilst the student is watching and listening to the music video look for any signs that they are losing focus. Pause the video immediately. Restart the video as soon as the student shows awareness that the video has stopped. Pair restarting the video with a comment saying, “SN, you do want the video on?” Repeat this activity, watching for an increase in the student’s attention span. A timer may assist to identify the length of time the student maintains their attention on the video. As their attention span increases fade the visual support and use only the auditory component. Apps such as iTube List (Apple) or Playtube (android) could be used to save favourite YouTube © music videos for students. 



Stand behind a student with a rain stick instrument. Pair singing ‘Rain is falling down, rain is falling down,’ with playing a rain stick instrument near the student’s left ear. Continue singing the song and then move the rain stick to the right ear and play it again. Use least to most prompting to assist the student to turn their head towards the direction of the sound.  


When in the community or walking around the school listen for specific sounds such as birds chirping or planes flying overhead. Pause when a sound is identified and with exaggerated movement and voice say, “I can hear a …” Watch for any student response and attribute meaning to the response by saying, “SN you can hear the …”


Changes facial expressions

Play music that can evoke different emotions. Watch the student for any changes in their facial expression. Use a mirror or photographic device to show the student the change in their facial expression. Attribute meaning to the change in facial expression and label it by saying, “SN is …. This music must make you feel ….” Different environmental sounds could also be used.


Apps that focus on a student’s image such as Liquid Mirror can motivate a student to change their facial expression. Identify, label and attribute meaning to any changes in facial expressions.


Interacts using facial expressions

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.


Apps such as ‘Inclusive Smarty Pants’ could be used to stimulate changes in facial expression.



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 respond to their own name.



Suggested Apps


iTube List
Play Tube
ABC House
Custom Soundboard
Sound Touch
Inclusive Smarty Pants
Interactive Baby Sound
Lazoo: Squiggles
Liquid Mirror