The University of Southampton

Language & learning

Using language for learning

senior-school-student-listeningMany students with a cochlear implant may have language skills that are age appropriate or appear to be following the content of lessons with little difficulty. However, students can experience difficulties with some of the finer detail or specifics of language. This could include:



Incidental learning – informal conversations that carry information which may take place in the lunch queue, on the bus, in the corridor that the deaf student may not be aware of.

Language ‘gaps’ – information about certain topics that they may have missed conversations about.

  • later reading.
  • Phonics.
  • Extending writing skills – expanding sentences, use of language.
  • Inferential skills, sarcasm, jokes.
  • Taking things literally.
  • Emotional language and spoken tone.
  • Slogans, slang, text talk, colloquialisms.


What can you do to help (Click on the titles below for more information)?

In advance of the session - preparation and differentiation
Starting the lesson - classroom management
During the lesson - making listening easier
During the lesson - whilst working

Tips for teachers

We asked children and teenagers what advice they would give their teacher to enable them to hear better in class.

The link below takes you to another useful document with ideas for how to support in secondary schools.

Supporting the achievement of young people in secondary schools – Summary from NDCS


Key concepts