High quality teaching should prioritise language and talk in the classroom and incorporate supportive strategies for promoting language throughout the day. Having a communication supportive classroom is fundamental to this. Communication supportive features should be visible to anyone entering the classroom or setting. Key things would include:

  • Visual support around the classroom
  • Good language models in the classroom
  • Opportunities for talk and talk-based activities
  • An ‘asking friendly’ environment, where children are encouraged to ask questions

This checklist contains more ideas about what a communication supportive classroom should look like.

The Communication Trust also have a checklist that gives more pointers about ways to create a communication supportive environment.

School can use the Communication Supporting Classrooms Observation Tool, a self-rating tool for evaluating the language learning environment, language learning opportunities and language learning interactions they offer, to ensure a communication supportive environment.

Want to know more?

The following videos contain useful, real life examples of speech, language and communication support for all pupils:

  • Creating a communication supportive learning environment – this video contains real life examples of ways schools and settings have ensured a communication supportive classroom.
  • The Communication Commitment is an initiative helping to embed communication supportive practice in schools. This video contains some useful examples of ways that schools can ensure they are supporting children’s spoken language across the curriculum.
  • Thinking about how adults use questions in the classroom is an easy way to promote spoken language effectively. This short video contains good practice examples.
  • Scaffolding children’s language is one strategy to help them develop their spoken language. This video contains good practice examples of ways this can be done in the classroom.
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