Section 1 discusses current understanding of how children, from their earliest interactions with others, develop language and non verbal forms of communication. A process is identified in which learning depends on the quality of interactions between ‘speaker and listener’. This process ensures that children want to communicate, that there is someone to communicate with and something to communicate about. It also requires teaching pupils that communication is enjoyable and brings results. Elements of the communicative process such as speaking, using non vocal alternatives, and listening are seen as being interrelated ratherthan as distinct learning areas. Implications arise for extended programmes of study and targets for attainment within Level 1.