Learning to talk

It’s really important that children learn to talk and listen so they can communicate with people around them, learn, make friends and have fun.  When learning to talk, some children will be a little quicker to talk; others will be a little slower. But all should have reached certain stages at certain times. 

Babies listen and can recognise voices before they’re born. From birth, they learn to communicate by looking at their parents, listening and taking turns. As they develop they begin to understand what people are saying, they learn how to say words and sentences and their speech becomes clear.

But learning to talk doesn’t happen by accident, it needs you to make this happen.  Parents are the best people to help their children learn – they know them best, they care about them most and want to give them the best start in life. The more you know, the more you can help.

Helping your child learn to talk can be as easy as you talking, listening and playing with them whenever you can.  Lots of children struggle to develop their communication skills – if you know what to expect, you can make sure your child is on the right track.

By 3 years old, your child will be saying lots more words and talking in longer sentences.  This is a really exciting time and children will be asking lots of questions to help them learn and find out about the world around them. They’re often keen to have conversations with adults they know well.


At Hollingwood Primary School we aim to ensure that all our children are effective communicators.  In order to be an effective communicator, we need to be able to use speech and language.  But what do we mean by these terms?

Language is the ability to understand words and sentences so that we can follow what is being said to us.  It involves organising our thoughts and ideas using appropriate vocabulary into grammatically correct sentences ready for talking.

Speech is the ability to combine sounds together to say words.

Communication is the ability to say the right thing, at the right time in the right way.  It involves using speech and language skills to send the messages we want to send to others.

Non-verbal communication (NVC) is the ability to understand and use gestures, body language, facial expression and our voice to help communicate our message.

Speech, Language and Communication Need (SLCN) encompasses difficulties children may experience with all three areas of communication.  Some children may only have difficulties in one area, whilst others may have problems in all three.

The Communication Trust is a great resource to support children's speaking and listening skills.  One of which is Small Talk, explaining how children learn to talk from birth to age 5.


Communication Friendly Settings

We are now an accredited Elklan Communication Friendly Setting (CFS).  This is awarded to schools that have trained and supported all their staff in communication and language development.

Please click here to access further information on the ELKLAN website


 How are we helping your child to become effective communicators?