Years 1-2 Social Interaction

What is it?

A child may say words clearly and use long, complex sentences with correct grammar, but they may still present with a communication problem if they have not mastered the rules for social language.

What to expect?

In Years 1 and 2, children will usually:

  • Initiate conversation with other people
  • Listen to, join in, and take turns in group conversations
  • Use language to do a wider range of things such as ask negotiate, give opinions and discuss ideas
  • Give details that they know are important and will influence the listener
  • Joins in with games with peers and leading role play game which are quite elaborate and detailed
  • Understands feelings and wishes of their friends, aware of who their friends are and able to give reasons why. Friendships include falling out and making up again.
  • Begin to talk to people in different ways, i.e. one way with their friends and one way with their teacher.
  • Make their stories and narratives more exciting by exaggerating and using different tones of voice.

Information & advice

You can help by:

  • Use clear, simple language.
  • Be explicit about exactly what you would like the child to do, e.g. “listen to me, then it will be your turn to talk”.
  • Teach new skills in a 1:1 setting with an adult initially, then start to add peers so that the child can learn to generalise new skills.
  • When talking make sure you are face to face and make eye-contact
  • Give the child plenty of time respond and try to avoid anticipating or completing the child’s sentence
  • Use open questions, rather than closed to encourage more than yes/no responses
  • Be honest if you have not understood the child; ask them to explain again. This develops self-awareness and gives them an opportunity to repair the conversation.