Children need to have good listening skills to do well in primary school. However, some children find it very difficult to sit still and listen for any length of time. Here are some strategies to promote listening skills and help children focus when you or someone else is speaking.


  • Be a good listener yourself – model good listening (acknowledge the person speaking, ask questions to clarify, show your attention)
  • Use the child’s name to refocus them when you notice they are off task
  • Speak for short periods of time
  • Give a challenge (I want to know 2 reasons why … listen carefully and see if you can tell me…)
  • Ask questions
  • Get a child to repeat what you said
  • Provide a visual cue
  • Use barrier games (children work with a partner – great for oral language development and listening skills)