Engage in role play and imaginary play scenarios and model listening behaviours.
Encourage children to listen to their friends and take turns in play and activities.
Make mistakes when telling stories/singing songs so the children correct you.
Cue children, particularly those with communication difficulties, to listen by first using their name, and signal a change of conversation, e.g. Now we are going to talk about…
Share rhymes, books and stories from many cultures, sometimes using languages other than English, particularly where children are learning English as an additional language.
Invite parents and members of wider communities to story-telling opportunities, so children can use their full language repertoire. Children then hear a range of languages, and the value of home languages as well as English.
Introduce “rhyme time” bags containing books that are relevant to the communities of your setting. Encourage taking these home, and involve parents in rhymes and singing games.
Ask parents to record and share songs and rhymes that have meaning to them, their family and community.
Choose stories with repeated refrains, dances and action songs involving looking and pointing, and songs that require replies and turn-taking.
Plan regular short periods when individuals listen to others, such as singing a short song, sharing an experience or describing something they have seen or done.
Play games which involve listening for a signal, such as Simon Says, and use Ready, steady…go!
Use opportunities to stop and listen carefully for environmental sounds, and talk about sounds you can hear using words such as long, short, high, low.
Play with sand timers to help extend concentration for children who find it difficult to focus their attention on a task.
Explain why it is important to pay attention by looking and listening when others are speaking.
Give children opportunities both to speak and to listen, ensuring that the needs of children learning English as an additional language are met, so that they can participate fully starting with simple actions and gestures, progressing to single words and phrases, and then to using more complex sentences.