understanding building block


Children need to understand words before they can start to use them

Children learn to talk by hearing words over and over again.
They need to hear a new word many, many times, and understand it, before they are able to try to say them themselves.

Understanding language can also be called 'receptive language' or 'comprehension'. 

Click on the link below to find out more about children's development of receptive language.




What can I do to help my child's understanding?

General strategies to support all children

Using symbolic sounds e.g. brum, meow

Talking Time’ with my child

Reduce my language

Model Language

Listen, Think, Talk (parent-child interaction strategies)

Using Gestures and signs





 You can monitor your child's early vocabulary development using our First Words List

How can I help my child understand language at different ages / stages?

Action Words

Action word pictures

For further activity ideas and pictures, see the 'vocabulary' tab on the left of this page. 



Key Words:

Working at One Word Level

Working at Two Word Level

Bridging Between Word Levels

Working at Three Word Level

Working at Four Word Level

2 and 3 Part Instructions



Developing understanding of big and little

Developing location knowledge - Prepositions

Concept Development: What to Expect and When

Concept Development for Key Stage 1 and 2

Concept Development for Key Stage 3 and 4 


How to Refer

Click here to find out how to refer a child.