Communication and Language – What does ‘expected’ look like?

Communication and language

This collection of clips looks at examples of children reaching (or almost reaching suggesting they will be there at the end of summer term) the early learning goals for Communication and Language. You can use these clips to support your understanding of what being within the goals looks like. There are questions to support your thinking before and after watching each clip. You can refer back to the ELGs for Communication and Language on this page whenever you need to.

Listening attention and understanding

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Listen attentively and respond to what they hear with relevant questions, comments and actions when being read to and during whole class discussions and small group interactions;
  • Make comments about what they have heard and ask questions to clarify their understanding;
  • Hold conversation when engaged in back-and-forth exchanges with their teacher and peers.


Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Participate in small group, class and one-to-one discussions, offering their own ideas, using recently introduced vocabulary;
  • Offer explanations for why things might happen, making use of recently introduced vocabulary from stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems when appropriate;
  • Express their ideas and feelings about their experiences using full sentences, including use of past, present, and future tenses and making use of conjunctions, with modelling and support from their teacher.

Communication & language - Examples of what 'expected' in the Early Learning Goals looks like