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Progression Continua

Oral Language: Progression Continuum

Welcome to the Oral Language Progression Continuum. This Continuum reflects the reality that children come to school with different language experiences, are at different places in their language-learning journey, and develop at different rates, particularly children with special educational needs and children in the early years of primary school.

Below you can find the Milestones (a-h) of the Oral Language Progression Continuum. These describe important points in language learning. Click on to look at Examples of children’s language learning and development at that Milestone. Click on , and look at Progression Steps to help with your classroom planning. 

You can use the left-hand navigation bar to filter by stage, language and strand to look at other Progression Continua.

For each strand of the Primary Language Curriculum—oral language, reading and writing—there is a continuum (map) of Progression Milestones and detailed Progression Steps involved in children’s language learning and development. The Continuum supports teachers in planning and teaching, especially when teaching children with a wide range of abilities.

Using the continuum

There are three Progression Continua - oral language, reading and writing. Each continuum consists of eight milestones (a-h), which describe, in broad terms, children's language learning and development for stages 1 and 2, using an arrow for each stage. Most children will have reached Milestone a before beginning Junior Infants. Milestone h is intended to support high-achieving children in second class. Which milestone teachers start with is dictated by the level of ability of the children in their class.

Using the Progression Continuum, teachers can identify the milestones children are at and plan the next steps in children's language learning journeys. Each milestone has a number of Progression Steps which recognise children's achievements and support teachers' planning. The steps describe what children's learning and development looks and sounds like as they move along the continuum towards achieving the Learning Outcomes. In this way, the Progression Continua and Examples enable teachers to support children with a wide range of abilities across a range of contexts.

Progression Milestones - Oral Language

a

The child gestures to and shares attention of an object with another person. He/she exchanges smiles, vocalises and in some cases, uses single words to respond. The child relies on the other person to interpret and share their meaning. See draft ‘Early a’.

 

Progression Steps >>

b

The child understands familiar words and basic phrases used to describe him/herself and his/her immediate surroundings. He/she uses single words, phrases and/or simple sentences, sometimes with gestures, to initiate conversation, to make requests, to talk about familiar people and objects, and to express themselves and interact with others. The ‘other person’ continues to play a key role in interpreting and sharing meaning.

Progression Steps >>

c

The child refers to familiar objects and events, and shared experiences. He/she uses language from home and their surroundings to communicate for a variety of purposes. The child uses non-verbal cues to help understand spoken language and when sharing meaning with others. The child uses simple social conventions when interacting. He/she responds showing some appreciation of the communication partner’s needs. The child begins to see a conversation as an exchange of knowledge and information with another person. He/she can readily follow one-step instructions.

Progression Steps >>

d

The child uses language to communicate their thoughts, feelings and ideas, and to ask questions. He/she has conversations about things that interest them, personal experiences, topics familiar to them and increasingly unfamiliar. The child engages others in conversation asking questions and exchanging information. He /she begins to reflect on experience and to explain problems and consider solutions for age appropriate topics. He/she begins to understand that the audience influences how we communicate. He/she can follow one-three step instructions.

Progression Steps >>

e

The child begins to use decontextualized language, such as topic specific language acquired through texts and through interactions with others. He/she recalls unshared experiences, sequences and events for a listener. The child is more aware of audience and uses language differently depending on the listener. He/she speaks with a wider range of oral vocabulary and detail, uses context to help understand new words and responds to lengthy instructions. The child reflects on experience, gives explanations, considers problems and suggests solutions.

Progression Steps >>

f

The child takes part in a wider range of conversations and is more comfortable in conversing with unfamiliar people. He/she elaborates on their responses, reflects on and takes account of the thoughts and feelings of others. The child uses tone, gestures and context to understand new words and phrases. He/she develops topics of conversation, elaborates with more detail, uses some topic-specific oral vocabulary and responds to complex instructions.

Progression Steps >>

g

The child informs, describes and elaborates using increasingly complex language suited to the topic. He/she can provide increasingly sophisticated and precise explanations and justifications in and for their responses. The child selects particular language and style in response to the particular audience. He/she uses figurative and descriptive language to provide more detail when communicating. The child can identify key points and relevant details in texts.

Progression Steps >>

h

The child gives explanations, descriptions and information on more complex and less frequently encountered concepts and situations. He/she considers and works with large bodies of information and multiple ideas and provides, justifies and defends their responses. The child chooses oral vocabulary for a specific purpose and effect. He/she uses more abstract language including figurative idioms and metaphors.

Progression Steps >>

a

The child gestures to and shares attention of an object with another person. He/she exchanges smiles, vocalises and in some cases, uses single words to respond. The child relies on the other person to interpret and share their meaning. See draft ‘Early a’.

 

Progression Steps >>

b

The child understands familiar words and basic phrases used to describe him/herself and his/her immediate surroundings. He/she uses single words, phrases and/or simple sentences, sometimes with gestures, to initiate conversation, to make requests, to talk about familiar people and objects, and to express themselves and interact with others. The ‘other person’ continues to play a key role in interpreting and sharing meaning.

Progression Steps >>

c

The child refers to familiar objects and events, and shared experiences. He/she uses language from home and their surroundings to communicate for a variety of purposes. The child uses non-verbal cues to help understand spoken language and when sharing meaning with others. The child uses simple social conventions when interacting. He/she responds showing some appreciation of the communication partner’s needs. The child begins to see a conversation as an exchange of knowledge and information with another person. He/she can readily follow one-step instructions.

Progression Steps >>

d

The child uses language to communicate their thoughts, feelings and ideas, and to ask questions. He/she has conversations about things that interest them, personal experiences, topics familiar to them and increasingly unfamiliar. The child engages others in conversation asking questions and exchanging information. He /she begins to reflect on experience and to explain problems and consider solutions for age appropriate topics. He/she begins to understand that the audience influences how we communicate. He/she can follow one-three step instructions.

Progression Steps >>

e

The child begins to use decontextualized language, such as topic specific language acquired through texts and through interactions with others. He/she recalls unshared experiences, sequences and events for a listener. The child is more aware of audience and uses language differently depending on the listener. He/she speaks with a wider range of oral vocabulary and detail, uses context to help understand new words and responds to lengthy instructions. The child reflects on experience, gives explanations, considers problems and suggests solutions.

Progression Steps >>

f

The child takes part in a wider range of conversations and is more comfortable in conversing with unfamiliar people. He/she elaborates on their responses, reflects on and takes account of the thoughts and feelings of others. The child uses tone, gestures and context to understand new words and phrases. He/she develops topics of conversation, elaborates with more detail, uses some topic-specific oral vocabulary and responds to complex instructions.

Progression Steps >>

g

The child informs, describes and elaborates using increasingly complex language suited to the topic. He/she can provide increasingly sophisticated and precise explanations and justifications in and for their responses. The child selects particular language and style in response to the particular audience. He/she uses figurative and descriptive language to provide more detail when communicating. The child can identify key points and relevant details in texts.

Progression Steps >>

h

The child gives explanations, descriptions and information on more complex and less frequently encountered concepts and situations. He/she considers and works with large bodies of information and multiple ideas and provides, justifies and defends their responses. The child chooses oral vocabulary for a specific purpose and effect. He/she uses more abstract language including figurative idioms and metaphors.

Progression Steps >>

a

The child gestures to and shares attention of an object with another person. He/she exchanges smiles, vocalises and in some cases, uses single words to respond. The child relies on the other person to interpret and share their meaning. See draft ‘Early a’.

 

Progression Steps >>

b

The child understands familiar words and basic phrases used to describe him/herself and his/her immediate surroundings. He/she uses single words, phrases and/or simple sentences, sometimes with gestures, to initiate conversation, to make requests, to talk about familiar people and objects, and to express themselves and interact with others. The ‘other person’ continues to play a key role in interpreting and sharing meaning.

Progression Steps >>

c

The child refers to familiar objects and events, and shared experiences. He/she uses language from home and their surroundings to communicate for a variety of purposes. The child uses non-verbal cues to help understand spoken language and when sharing meaning with others. The child uses simple social conventions when interacting. He/she responds showing some appreciation of the communication partner’s needs. The child begins to see a conversation as an exchange of knowledge and information with another person. He/she can readily follow one-step instructions.

Progression Steps >>

d

The child uses language to communicate their thoughts, feelings and ideas, and to ask questions. He/she has conversations about things that interest them, personal experiences, topics familiar to them and increasingly unfamiliar. The child engages others in conversation asking questions and exchanging information. He /she begins to reflect on experience and to explain problems and consider solutions for age appropriate topics. He/she begins to understand that the audience influences how we communicate. He/she can follow one-three step instructions.

Progression Steps >>

e

The child begins to use decontextualized language, such as topic specific language acquired through texts and through interactions with others. He/she recalls unshared experiences, sequences and events for a listener. The child is more aware of audience and uses language differently depending on the listener. He/she speaks with a wider range of oral vocabulary and detail, uses context to help understand new words and responds to lengthy instructions. The child reflects on experience, gives explanations, considers problems and suggests solutions.

Progression Steps >>

f

The child takes part in a wider range of conversations and is more comfortable in conversing with unfamiliar people. He/she elaborates on their responses, reflects on and takes account of the thoughts and feelings of others. The child uses tone, gestures and context to understand new words and phrases. He/she develops topics of conversation, elaborates with more detail, uses some topic-specific oral vocabulary and responds to complex instructions.

Progression Steps >>

g

The child informs, describes and elaborates using increasingly complex language suited to the topic. He/she can provide increasingly sophisticated and precise explanations and justifications in and for their responses. The child selects particular language and style in response to the particular audience. He/she uses figurative and descriptive language to provide more detail when communicating. The child can identify key points and relevant details in texts.

Progression Steps >>

h

The child gives explanations, descriptions and information on more complex and less frequently encountered concepts and situations. He/she considers and works with large bodies of information and multiple ideas and provides, justifies and defends their responses. The child chooses oral vocabulary for a specific purpose and effect. He/she uses more abstract language including figurative idioms and metaphors.

Progression Steps >>

a

The child gestures to and shares attention of an object with another person. He/she exchanges smiles, vocalises and in some cases, uses single words to respond. The child relies on the other person to interpret and share their meaning. See draft ‘Early a’.

 

Progression Steps >>

b

The child understands familiar words and basic phrases used to describe him/herself and his/her immediate surroundings. He/she uses single words, phrases and/or simple sentences, sometimes with gestures, to initiate conversation, to make requests, to talk about familiar people and objects, and to express themselves and interact with others. The ‘other person’ continues to play a key role in interpreting and sharing meaning.

Progression Steps >>

c

The child refers to familiar objects and events, and shared experiences. He/she uses language from home and their surroundings to communicate for a variety of purposes. The child uses non-verbal cues to help understand spoken language and when sharing meaning with others. The child uses simple social conventions when interacting. He/she responds showing some appreciation of the communication partner’s needs. The child begins to see a conversation as an exchange of knowledge and information with another person. He/she can readily follow one-step instructions.

Progression Steps >>

d

The child uses language to communicate their thoughts, feelings and ideas, and to ask questions. He/she has conversations about things that interest them, personal experiences, topics familiar to them and increasingly unfamiliar. The child engages others in conversation asking questions and exchanging information. He /she begins to reflect on experience and to explain problems and consider solutions for age appropriate topics. He/she begins to understand that the audience influences how we communicate. He/she can follow one-three step instructions.

Progression Steps >>

e

The child begins to use decontextualized language, such as topic specific language acquired through texts and through interactions with others. He/she recalls unshared experiences, sequences and events for a listener. The child is more aware of audience and uses language differently depending on the listener. He/she speaks with a wider range of oral vocabulary and detail, uses context to help understand new words and responds to lengthy instructions. The child reflects on experience, gives explanations, considers problems and suggests solutions.

Progression Steps >>

f

The child takes part in a wider range of conversations and is more comfortable in conversing with unfamiliar people. He/she elaborates on their responses, reflects on and takes account of the thoughts and feelings of others. The child uses tone, gestures and context to understand new words and phrases. He/she develops topics of conversation, elaborates with more detail, uses some topic-specific oral vocabulary and responds to complex instructions.

Progression Steps >>

g

The child informs, describes and elaborates using increasingly complex language suited to the topic. He/she can provide increasingly sophisticated and precise explanations and justifications in and for their responses. The child selects particular language and style in response to the particular audience. He/she uses figurative and descriptive language to provide more detail when communicating. The child can identify key points and relevant details in texts.

Progression Steps >>

h

The child gives explanations, descriptions and information on more complex and less frequently encountered concepts and situations. He/she considers and works with large bodies of information and multiple ideas and provides, justifies and defends their responses. The child chooses oral vocabulary for a specific purpose and effect. He/she uses more abstract language including figurative idioms and metaphors.

Progression Steps >>

a

The child gestures to and shares attention of an object with another person. He/she exchanges smiles, vocalises and in some cases, uses single words to respond. The child relies on the other person to interpret and share their meaning. See draft ‘Early a’.

 

Progression Steps >>

b

The child understands familiar words and basic phrases used to describe him/herself and his/her immediate surroundings. He/she uses single words, phrases and/or simple sentences, sometimes with gestures, to initiate conversation, to make requests, to talk about familiar people and objects, and to express themselves and interact with others. The ‘other person’ continues to play a key role in interpreting and sharing meaning.

Progression Steps >>

c

The child refers to familiar objects and events, and shared experiences. He/she uses language from home and their surroundings to communicate for a variety of purposes. The child uses non-verbal cues to help understand spoken language and when sharing meaning with others. The child uses simple social conventions when interacting. He/she responds showing some appreciation of the communication partner’s needs. The child begins to see a conversation as an exchange of knowledge and information with another person. He/she can readily follow one-step instructions.

Progression Steps >>

d

The child uses language to communicate their thoughts, feelings and ideas, and to ask questions. He/she has conversations about things that interest them, personal experiences, topics familiar to them and increasingly unfamiliar. The child engages others in conversation asking questions and exchanging information. He /she begins to reflect on experience and to explain problems and consider solutions for age appropriate topics. He/she begins to understand that the audience influences how we communicate. He/she can follow one-three step instructions.

Progression Steps >>

e

The child begins to use decontextualized language, such as topic specific language acquired through texts and through interactions with others. He/she recalls unshared experiences, sequences and events for a listener. The child is more aware of audience and uses language differently depending on the listener. He/she speaks with a wider range of oral vocabulary and detail, uses context to help understand new words and responds to lengthy instructions. The child reflects on experience, gives explanations, considers problems and suggests solutions.

Progression Steps >>

f

The child takes part in a wider range of conversations and is more comfortable in conversing with unfamiliar people. He/she elaborates on their responses, reflects on and takes account of the thoughts and feelings of others. The child uses tone, gestures and context to understand new words and phrases. He/she develops topics of conversation, elaborates with more detail, uses some topic-specific oral vocabulary and responds to complex instructions.

Progression Steps >>

g

The child informs, describes and elaborates using increasingly complex language suited to the topic. He/she can provide increasingly sophisticated and precise explanations and justifications in and for their responses. The child selects particular language and style in response to the particular audience. He/she uses figurative and descriptive language to provide more detail when communicating. The child can identify key points and relevant details in texts.

Progression Steps >>

h

The child gives explanations, descriptions and information on more complex and less frequently encountered concepts and situations. He/she considers and works with large bodies of information and multiple ideas and provides, justifies and defends their responses. The child chooses oral vocabulary for a specific purpose and effect. He/she uses more abstract language including figurative idioms and metaphors.

Progression Steps >>

a

The child gestures to and shares attention of an object with another person. He/she exchanges smiles, vocalises and in some cases, uses single words to respond. The child relies on the other person to interpret and share their meaning. See draft ‘Early a’.

 

Progression Steps >>

b

The child understands familiar words and basic phrases used to describe him/herself and his/her immediate surroundings. He/she uses single words, phrases and/or simple sentences, sometimes with gestures, to initiate conversation, to make requests, to talk about familiar people and objects, and to express themselves and interact with others. The ‘other person’ continues to play a key role in interpreting and sharing meaning.

Progression Steps >>

c

The child refers to familiar objects and events, and shared experiences. He/she uses language from home and their surroundings to communicate for a variety of purposes. The child uses non-verbal cues to help understand spoken language and when sharing meaning with others. The child uses simple social conventions when interacting. He/she responds showing some appreciation of the communication partner’s needs. The child begins to see a conversation as an exchange of knowledge and information with another person. He/she can readily follow one-step instructions.

Progression Steps >>

d

The child uses language to communicate their thoughts, feelings and ideas, and to ask questions. He/she has conversations about things that interest them, personal experiences, topics familiar to them and increasingly unfamiliar. The child engages others in conversation asking questions and exchanging information. He /she begins to reflect on experience and to explain problems and consider solutions for age appropriate topics. He/she begins to understand that the audience influences how we communicate. He/she can follow one-three step instructions.

Progression Steps >>

e

The child begins to use decontextualized language, such as topic specific language acquired through texts and through interactions with others. He/she recalls unshared experiences, sequences and events for a listener. The child is more aware of audience and uses language differently depending on the listener. He/she speaks with a wider range of oral vocabulary and detail, uses context to help understand new words and responds to lengthy instructions. The child reflects on experience, gives explanations, considers problems and suggests solutions.

Progression Steps >>

f

The child takes part in a wider range of conversations and is more comfortable in conversing with unfamiliar people. He/she elaborates on their responses, reflects on and takes account of the thoughts and feelings of others. The child uses tone, gestures and context to understand new words and phrases. He/she develops topics of conversation, elaborates with more detail, uses some topic-specific oral vocabulary and responds to complex instructions.

Progression Steps >>

g

The child informs, describes and elaborates using increasingly complex language suited to the topic. He/she can provide increasingly sophisticated and precise explanations and justifications in and for their responses. The child selects particular language and style in response to the particular audience. He/she uses figurative and descriptive language to provide more detail when communicating. The child can identify key points and relevant details in texts.

Progression Steps >>

h

The child gives explanations, descriptions and information on more complex and less frequently encountered concepts and situations. He/she considers and works with large bodies of information and multiple ideas and provides, justifies and defends their responses. The child chooses oral vocabulary for a specific purpose and effect. He/she uses more abstract language including figurative idioms and metaphors.

Progression Steps >>

a

The child gestures to and shares attention of an object with another person. He/she exchanges smiles, vocalises and in some cases, uses single words to respond. The child relies on the other person to interpret and share their meaning. See draft ‘Early a’.

 

Progression Steps >>

b

The child understands familiar words and basic phrases used to describe him/herself and his/her immediate surroundings. He/she uses single words, phrases and/or simple sentences, sometimes with gestures, to initiate conversation, to make requests, to talk about familiar people and objects, and to express themselves and interact with others. The ‘other person’ continues to play a key role in interpreting and sharing meaning.

Progression Steps >>

c

The child refers to familiar objects and events, and shared experiences. He/she uses language from home and their surroundings to communicate for a variety of purposes. The child uses non-verbal cues to help understand spoken language and when sharing meaning with others. The child uses simple social conventions when interacting. He/she responds showing some appreciation of the communication partner’s needs. The child begins to see a conversation as an exchange of knowledge and information with another person. He/she can readily follow one-step instructions.

Progression Steps >>

d

The child uses language to communicate their thoughts, feelings and ideas, and to ask questions. He/she has conversations about things that interest them, personal experiences, topics familiar to them and increasingly unfamiliar. The child engages others in conversation asking questions and exchanging information. He /she begins to reflect on experience and to explain problems and consider solutions for age appropriate topics. He/she begins to understand that the audience influences how we communicate. He/she can follow one-three step instructions.

Progression Steps >>

e

The child begins to use decontextualized language, such as topic specific language acquired through texts and through interactions with others. He/she recalls unshared experiences, sequences and events for a listener. The child is more aware of audience and uses language differently depending on the listener. He/she speaks with a wider range of oral vocabulary and detail, uses context to help understand new words and responds to lengthy instructions. The child reflects on experience, gives explanations, considers problems and suggests solutions.

Progression Steps >>

f

The child takes part in a wider range of conversations and is more comfortable in conversing with unfamiliar people. He/she elaborates on their responses, reflects on and takes account of the thoughts and feelings of others. The child uses tone, gestures and context to understand new words and phrases. He/she develops topics of conversation, elaborates with more detail, uses some topic-specific oral vocabulary and responds to complex instructions.

Progression Steps >>

g

The child informs, describes and elaborates using increasingly complex language suited to the topic. He/she can provide increasingly sophisticated and precise explanations and justifications in and for their responses. The child selects particular language and style in response to the particular audience. He/she uses figurative and descriptive language to provide more detail when communicating. The child can identify key points and relevant details in texts.

Progression Steps >>

h

The child gives explanations, descriptions and information on more complex and less frequently encountered concepts and situations. He/she considers and works with large bodies of information and multiple ideas and provides, justifies and defends their responses. The child chooses oral vocabulary for a specific purpose and effect. He/she uses more abstract language including figurative idioms and metaphors.

Progression Steps >>

a

The child gestures to and shares attention of an object with another person. He/she exchanges smiles, vocalises and in some cases, uses single words to respond. The child relies on the other person to interpret and share their meaning. See draft ‘Early a’.

 

Progression Steps >>

b

The child understands familiar words and basic phrases used to describe him/herself and his/her immediate surroundings. He/she uses single words, phrases and/or simple sentences, sometimes with gestures, to initiate conversation, to make requests, to talk about familiar people and objects, and to express themselves and interact with others. The ‘other person’ continues to play a key role in interpreting and sharing meaning.

Progression Steps >>

c

The child refers to familiar objects and events, and shared experiences. He/she uses language from home and their surroundings to communicate for a variety of purposes. The child uses non-verbal cues to help understand spoken language and when sharing meaning with others. The child uses simple social conventions when interacting. He/she responds showing some appreciation of the communication partner’s needs. The child begins to see a conversation as an exchange of knowledge and information with another person. He/she can readily follow one-step instructions.

Progression Steps >>

d

The child uses language to communicate their thoughts, feelings and ideas, and to ask questions. He/she has conversations about things that interest them, personal experiences, topics familiar to them and increasingly unfamiliar. The child engages others in conversation asking questions and exchanging information. He /she begins to reflect on experience and to explain problems and consider solutions for age appropriate topics. He/she begins to understand that the audience influences how we communicate. He/she can follow one-three step instructions.

Progression Steps >>

e

The child begins to use decontextualized language, such as topic specific language acquired through texts and through interactions with others. He/she recalls unshared experiences, sequences and events for a listener. The child is more aware of audience and uses language differently depending on the listener. He/she speaks with a wider range of oral vocabulary and detail, uses context to help understand new words and responds to lengthy instructions. The child reflects on experience, gives explanations, considers problems and suggests solutions.

Progression Steps >>

f

The child takes part in a wider range of conversations and is more comfortable in conversing with unfamiliar people. He/she elaborates on their responses, reflects on and takes account of the thoughts and feelings of others. The child uses tone, gestures and context to understand new words and phrases. He/she develops topics of conversation, elaborates with more detail, uses some topic-specific oral vocabulary and responds to complex instructions.

Progression Steps >>

g

The child informs, describes and elaborates using increasingly complex language suited to the topic. He/she can provide increasingly sophisticated and precise explanations and justifications in and for their responses. The child selects particular language and style in response to the particular audience. He/she uses figurative and descriptive language to provide more detail when communicating. The child can identify key points and relevant details in texts.

Progression Steps >>

h

The child gives explanations, descriptions and information on more complex and less frequently encountered concepts and situations. He/she considers and works with large bodies of information and multiple ideas and provides, justifies and defends their responses. The child chooses oral vocabulary for a specific purpose and effect. He/she uses more abstract language including figurative idioms and metaphors.

Progression Steps >>

a

The child gestures to and shares attention of an object with another person. He/she exchanges smiles, vocalises and in some cases, uses single words to respond. The child relies on the other person to interpret and share their meaning. See draft ‘Early a’.

 

Progression Steps >>

b

The child understands familiar words and basic phrases used to describe him/herself and his/her immediate surroundings. He/she uses single words, phrases and/or simple sentences, sometimes with gestures, to initiate conversation, to make requests, to talk about familiar people and objects, and to express themselves and interact with others. The ‘other person’ continues to play a key role in interpreting and sharing meaning.

Progression Steps >>

c

The child refers to familiar objects and events, and shared experiences. He/she uses language from home and their surroundings to communicate for a variety of purposes. The child uses non-verbal cues to help understand spoken language and when sharing meaning with others. The child uses simple social conventions when interacting. He/she responds showing some appreciation of the communication partner’s needs. The child begins to see a conversation as an exchange of knowledge and information with another person. He/she can readily follow one-step instructions.

Progression Steps >>

d

The child uses language to communicate their thoughts, feelings and ideas, and to ask questions. He/she has conversations about things that interest them, personal experiences, topics familiar to them and increasingly unfamiliar. The child engages others in conversation asking questions and exchanging information. He /she begins to reflect on experience and to explain problems and consider solutions for age appropriate topics. He/she begins to understand that the audience influences how we communicate. He/she can follow one-three step instructions.

Progression Steps >>

e

The child begins to use decontextualized language, such as topic specific language acquired through texts and through interactions with others. He/she recalls unshared experiences, sequences and events for a listener. The child is more aware of audience and uses language differently depending on the listener. He/she speaks with a wider range of oral vocabulary and detail, uses context to help understand new words and responds to lengthy instructions. The child reflects on experience, gives explanations, considers problems and suggests solutions.

Progression Steps >>

f

The child takes part in a wider range of conversations and is more comfortable in conversing with unfamiliar people. He/she elaborates on their responses, reflects on and takes account of the thoughts and feelings of others. The child uses tone, gestures and context to understand new words and phrases. He/she develops topics of conversation, elaborates with more detail, uses some topic-specific oral vocabulary and responds to complex instructions.

Progression Steps >>

g

The child informs, describes and elaborates using increasingly complex language suited to the topic. He/she can provide increasingly sophisticated and precise explanations and justifications in and for their responses. The child selects particular language and style in response to the particular audience. He/she uses figurative and descriptive language to provide more detail when communicating. The child can identify key points and relevant details in texts.

Progression Steps >>

h

The child gives explanations, descriptions and information on more complex and less frequently encountered concepts and situations. He/she considers and works with large bodies of information and multiple ideas and provides, justifies and defends their responses. The child chooses oral vocabulary for a specific purpose and effect. He/she uses more abstract language including figurative idioms and metaphors.

Progression Steps >>

a

The child gestures to and shares attention of an object with another person. He/she exchanges smiles, vocalises and in some cases, uses single words to respond. The child relies on the other person to interpret and share their meaning. See draft ‘Early a’.

 

Progression Steps >>

b

The child understands familiar words and basic phrases used to describe him/herself and his/her immediate surroundings. He/she uses single words, phrases and/or simple sentences, sometimes with gestures, to initiate conversation, to make requests, to talk about familiar people and objects, and to express themselves and interact with others. The ‘other person’ continues to play a key role in interpreting and sharing meaning.

Progression Steps >>

c

The child refers to familiar objects and events, and shared experiences. He/she uses language from home and their surroundings to communicate for a variety of purposes. The child uses non-verbal cues to help understand spoken language and when sharing meaning with others. The child uses simple social conventions when interacting. He/she responds showing some appreciation of the communication partner’s needs. The child begins to see a conversation as an exchange of knowledge and information with another person. He/she can readily follow one-step instructions.

Progression Steps >>

d

The child uses language to communicate their thoughts, feelings and ideas, and to ask questions. He/she has conversations about things that interest them, personal experiences, topics familiar to them and increasingly unfamiliar. The child engages others in conversation asking questions and exchanging information. He /she begins to reflect on experience and to explain problems and consider solutions for age appropriate topics. He/she begins to understand that the audience influences how we communicate. He/she can follow one-three step instructions.

Progression Steps >>

e

The child begins to use decontextualized language, such as topic specific language acquired through texts and through interactions with others. He/she recalls unshared experiences, sequences and events for a listener. The child is more aware of audience and uses language differently depending on the listener. He/she speaks with a wider range of oral vocabulary and detail, uses context to help understand new words and responds to lengthy instructions. The child reflects on experience, gives explanations, considers problems and suggests solutions.

Progression Steps >>

f

The child takes part in a wider range of conversations and is more comfortable in conversing with unfamiliar people. He/she elaborates on their responses, reflects on and takes account of the thoughts and feelings of others. The child uses tone, gestures and context to understand new words and phrases. He/she develops topics of conversation, elaborates with more detail, uses some topic-specific oral vocabulary and responds to complex instructions.

Progression Steps >>

g

The child informs, describes and elaborates using increasingly complex language suited to the topic. He/she can provide increasingly sophisticated and precise explanations and justifications in and for their responses. The child selects particular language and style in response to the particular audience. He/she uses figurative and descriptive language to provide more detail when communicating. The child can identify key points and relevant details in texts.

Progression Steps >>

h

The child gives explanations, descriptions and information on more complex and less frequently encountered concepts and situations. He/she considers and works with large bodies of information and multiple ideas and provides, justifies and defends their responses. The child chooses oral vocabulary for a specific purpose and effect. He/she uses more abstract language including figurative idioms and metaphors.

Progression Steps >>