The Listen-EAR approach is based on the following 6 principles:
- Adequate spoken language, listening and communication skills are vital to every young person’s educational achievement, emotional wellbeing, ability to interact and socialise effectively both in and out of school and ensuring opportunities for future employment. All students benefit from a focus on speaking, listening and communication.
- School staff need awareness and support to ensure they use the most effective inclusive strategies to support students with SLCN to learn most effectively. Many of these strategies are suitable to support learning for all young people and align with best practice ‘quality first teaching/high quality teaching’. This ensures that the benefits are seen for all students and the teachers and encourages staff to use the strategies consistently and continuously.
- A focus on improving speaking, listening and oral communication can have significant impacts on developing effective literacy, behaviour, learning and social skills.
- Whole class and whole school work ensures that support is provided for the high numbers of students who may have some form of SLCN but who have not been previously identified, which may include young people with behavioural difficulties, reading comprehension difficulties or who may have been identified by school staff but would need to go through a lengthy referral process to get an official ‘diagnosis’ from a speech and language therapist.
- Students with SLCN benefitting from having greater opportunity and support to generalise their skills and make better progress as speaking and listening activities and strategies are embedded into every day teaching practice.
- It is essential that school staff are empowered to support the majority of students with SLCN effectively, efficiently and with confidence in the classroom. This also ensures that specialist support and input from SEN staff and speech and language therapists can prioritise pupils with the most significant and complex needs.