Primary English: Speaking and listening tools

Victoria Haughton
12th April 2018
Primary English: Speaking and listening tools

Help your pupils to find their voices with this selection of discussion, presentation and debate ideas

Speaking and listening skills are essential for learners’ development. Not only do they help to build their self-esteem, but the ability to present and debate with confidence will help pupils throughout their educational and adult lives. For that reason, we’ve selected some of our favourite activities and supportive tools, designed to build younger students' language abilities.

Speaking and listening practice

Providing pupils with the opportunity to practise their speaking and listening skills is crucial to their development. From debate ideas to supportive packs, encourage your chatterboxes to articulate their opinions with these top resource ideas.

Persuasive speaking oral language activity

Some topics for persuasive speaking. Fun activity for small groups. Some of the topics include 'black is the nicest of all the colours,' 'school days are better than holidays' and 'goldilocks was really a burglar.'
By sineadb975

Speaking and Listening Prompt Cards

A set of speaking and listening prompt cards designed to be photocopied double sided. Each card has a discussion prompt e.g. what would you do if you won the lottery? Why? or If you could have any pet in the world, what would it be? Why? On the back there are sentence starters to help pupils structure their responses.
By amygaunt

Accountable talk - supporting speaking and listening

Accountable talk adds greater structure and rigour to discussion activities. It breaks skills into four areas : Stating opinions, clarifying ideas, active listening and respectful disagreement. These cards and prompts are designed to help pupils master these four areas of talk skills. They can be introduced slowly over the year by using the wide variety of materials provided here. The range of materials also means that pupils in different year groups can make use of the resources. It helps pupils to develop their skills.

This extensive collection of accountable talk files includes:
11 pages of starter stems, over 80 questions, 4 powerpoints, 6 menu cards, 4 anchor prompt sheets for younger pupils and more. Editable.

What's included:
11 pages of starter stems and questions. These can be cut up and put into key rings, spread out loose on tables or stuck onto lolly sticks for pupils to handle. There are over 80 questions in total. This is a word file and a PDF.

There are 4 powerpoint files. Each has over 20 slides. There is one for state your opinion, one for active listening, one for clarifying ideas, one for respectful disagreement. These are also saved as PDF. These can be displayed on screen or printed to make classroom displays.

There are 4 'menu cards' A4 size for laminating and putting on tables or giving to individual students. One for each of 'state your opinion, active listening, clarifying ideas and respectful disagreement'. These are also good for other adults working in the classroom.

There are also 2 menu cards for 'maths talk', one for the explainer and one for the questioner.

In addition there is a menu card for 'prove it' a list of useful evidence based prompts.

I have also added 4 pages of questions aimed at younger children. This means that the resource bundle can be used flexibly across the school. Share the resources with other teachers in your school.

All of the menus are in word and PDF formats. They make great table resources, help cards for individuals, reminders for adults in the classroom and great displays.

There is are some evaluation sheets to helps students reflect on their strengths and areas for improvement across the four areas of accountable talk and feedback sheets for teachers.

As not everyone will have the fonts I have used, the word and powerpoint files may not look exactly like they do on my screen. I have therefore provided PDF formats of each file for easy printing. The word and powerpoint files give you the extra benefit of being able to add to, edit and delete questions. I think it is important to be able to customise resources to meet the needs of your class, their experience with accountable talk and their language skills.

I hope you enjoy using these resources. There are many ways that you could use them in the classroom.
By VickyCrane1

Speaking and Listening Discussion Wheels

These Discussion Wheels for Speaking and Listening were created primarily as a ‘speaking and listening' pack to provide opportunities for discussion and to encourage your students to practise both skills.

I designed these fun discussion wheels as an ‘add on’ to a wide range of topics which you may be teaching in your classroom. They can be used in circle time, as a ‘lead in’ to a new topic, as an assessment of knowledge, as a talking and listening station – the possibilities are endless!

I have added some sample questions which might be useful. Again the possibilities for questions are endless and the type of question you ask will obviously be dependent on the picture chosen. Specific questions may also lead to general discussions e.g. animals habitats, terms such as ‘domestic’, ‘tame’ animals in captivity, hunting etc.


• Cover
• Teacher Notes
• 30 discussion wheels on a variety of topics, plus sample questions
• TOU/Credits


• Farm Animals
• Wild Animals
• Ocean Creatures
• Woodland Animals
• Nocturnal Animals
• Arctic Animals
• American Symbols
• Winter Sports
• Numbers
• 2D Shape
• 3D Shape
• Emotions
• Families
• Senses
• Sports
• Minibeasts
• Weather
• Clothing
• Jobs
• Tools
• Buildings
• Manners
• Technology
• Punctuation
• Fairytales
• Christmas
• Opposites
• Habitats
• Homophones
• Pirates


By TeachersToolkit

Observation and support tools

Some students may find speaking in front of their peers a little daunting, so it’s important to offer them as much support and guidance as possible. With this selection of talking frames, assessment sheets and observation grids, ensuring learners are on the right track has never been easier!


Year 2 Speaking and Listening (Oracy) Talk Frame

Talk frame using Tower Hamlets Progression in Language Structures designed for Year 2 practitioners to support the development in children's ability to speak in longer sentences without prompts.

Offers children several sentence starter prompts for various talk types which reduces the need for adult intervention to extend a child's speech.
By Shahina7

Speaking and Listening assessment

Every year I would get my KS1 classes to do 2 or 3 talks. The first was usually about themselves, the second on a topic related non-fiction subject e.g. an animal and if I did a 3rd it varied in focus from poetry to a favourite toy to explain something they had made etc. I completed this using peer observation and or teacher observation. As I kept these pasted in their literacy books (alongside a picture of them in their talk) it was useful to see progress and helped me with evidence when writing reports. Often I would send a copy home for parents too as immediate feedback, I especially found it useful when I found myself out of class so that observations were consistent by whoever covered me.
By joymears

Group Discussion Work

A few ideas for group discussion work including golden rules strategies to encourage good listening and speaking.
By lbrowne

Spoken language Observation/Assessment Grid

Adaptable grid containing all of the spoken language objectives for the September 2014 curriculum. Can be used to tick or date when children demonstrate each objective.
By leonamarie

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