During your sessions observing the children, you may find it useful to refer to some of these questions as a way of focusing on how their speaking and listening skills are developing:

Do all children make a contribution to the whole-group or small-group discussion?

Are the grammatical structures correct? Is the syntax correct?

Do the children use appropriate vocabulary? Do they use context to work out unfamiliar words?

Do the children show a curiosity about new words and try to explore how to use them appropriately?

Is their speech fluent and clear?

Do the children sustain attention when listening?

Do they listen with respect to others' views and opinions?

Do the children take turns in conversations?

Do they appear to understand what is being said by you and by the other children?

Do the children ask relevant and appropriate questions about a shared text?

Do the children have a concept of the sequence of a story?

Do they use the illustrations for clues about the meaning, sequence and content of the story?

Do the children talk about key events and characters in a familiar story?

Are they able to negotiate plans and roles?

Do they enjoy listening to stories, rhymes and songs, and are they able to respond to them, taking part and using them in their play and learning?

Do the children use language in their imaginative play? Do they role-play and create imaginary experiences?