understanding building block

Developing understanding of language 

comes before talking

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 develop understanding?

      General Strategies:

Using symbolic sounds e.g. brum, meow

Talking Time’ with my child

Reduce my language

Model Language

Use comments

Using Gestures and signs

Listen, Think, Talk

Treasure basket


      Specific Areas:

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

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

Action Words

Developing 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 

Developing Vocabulary

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

Developing vocabulary - Antonyms and synonyms 

How to Refer

Click here to find out how to refer a child.