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How can I support the learning of children with Speech, Language and Communication Needs?

Updated: Jan 23, 2023

Speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) can greatly affect a child's learning and development. According to the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, approximately 1 in 10 children in the UK have SLCN. These difficulties can include delays in language development, difficulty with articulation, stuttering, and difficulty with social communication.

SLCN can greatly impact a child's ability to learn in the classroom. Children with SLCN may struggle to understand instructions, participate in class discussions, and express themselves effectively. This can lead to difficulties with reading, writing, and problem-solving. SLCN can also affect a child's social and emotional development, making it harder for them to make friends and feel confident in their abilities.

To support children with SLCN in the classroom, teachers must be trained to identify and understand the needs of these students. They should also have access to appropriate resources and support from speech and language therapists.

Here are more helpful ways you can support children with SLCN in your classroom...


1. Use visual cues: Teachers can support children by using visuals such as pictures, tactile objects, or even a whiteboard to help the student understand and communicate their needs. Visual cues can also be used to encourage the student to participate in conversations, such as pointing to an object when discussing a topic.


2. Provide repetition and reinforcement: Repetition is important for children who have difficulty communicating. Teachers should repeat words and phrases that the child has trouble articulating, and provide reinforcement for the correct usage of words and phrases. It is also important for teachers to be patient and encouraging when working with these students.


3. Utilise technology: Technology can be a great tool for supporting children with speech, language and communication difficulties. There are many apps and programs available specifically designed for this purpose. For example, some allow students to practice pronunciation, develop conversation skills, or even create personalized stories. Technology can also be used to facilitate communication between students and teachers.


4. Practise makes perfect: Provide opportunities for the child to practise their speech, language and communication skills in a structured and meaningful way. This could be through activities such as role-playing, reading aloud, or engaging in conversation-based activities.

It is essential that teachers are trained to identify and understand the needs of children with SLCN, and that they have access to appropriate resources and support from speech and language therapists. By working together, teachers and therapists can help ensure that all children have the opportunity to succeed in the classroom.

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