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Communication that is effective
Teacher showing card to the class

What do you think are the key elements of effective communication?

Effective communication requires the smooth integration of:

  • Visual skills, eg timing of eye-contact and averting eyes.
  • Listening.
  • Speaking.
  • Action, eg use of gestures, judging how close to stand.

Communication is deceptively complex as it not only requires motor skills and co-ordination, but also the cognitive abilities of recall, selectivity and timing, and emotional regulation appropriate to the context.

The benefits of good communication
Children raising their hand

Children with SLD/PMLD/CLDD do not pick up language skills from exposure to their environment as spontaneously as the typical child. This means that they need a more managed communication environment. This helps them to acquire language and to use it appropriately across contexts – whether in the playground, the classroom or beyond school.

AAC in action

Watch this video clip in which Gill, a teacher, talks about the way Becky uses AAC. Notice how the school has made it possible to use her communication aid in social situations a well as in the classroom.

  • Poster
Communicating in a social environment

Watch this clip in which girls with speech, language and communication difficulties take part in a social communication session.

What are the supportive elements that enable the girls to take part in the conversation?

Some answers

  • Poster
Key outcomes
Children raising their hand

A supportive communication environment enables children to make great strides with their language. In such an environment children will:

  • Hear new models of language;
  • Feel confident to make new attempts to communicate and experiment with grammatical rules; and
  • Become more fluent through exposure to language.