Supporting Students with Speech Language and Communication Needs in the Secondary School


Most classroom teaching at secondary school level, is delivered orally. Teachers talk through new material, give verbal instructions, students ask questions out loud to clarify points or find new information. In addition feedback or revision of previous learning is most often given verbally. If a young person has compromised speech, language or communication they may struggle to understand and learn appropriately within a predominantly oral learning environment.


The good news is that simple adaptations to the curriculum, learning environment and the language used by teachers in the classroom can make a big difference.


Six approaches have been shown to work effectively in reducing the impact of speech, language and communication needs (SLCN). Many of these will be familiar to you however the best results will be achieved if all are used consistently across curricular areas.


  • Modifications to Teacher Talk
  • Use of Visual Cues to Accompany Teacher Talk
  • Use of Modified Written Texts
  • Supported Vocabulary Learning and Revision
  • Support to Construct Oral and Written Narrative
  • Additional Support for Social Expectations Within the Secondary Setting