Improving learner outcomes

Speech Language and Communication Needs
Supported learning for teaching professionals
Flexible self-paced learning
Flexible licensing options

About speech, language and communication needs

The term speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) is commonly used to describe difficulties with listening, understanding and communicating with others. Students with SLCN may have difficulty with:

The training has helped me to make better use of the support time provided to my SLCN students by ensuring the Smart Goals and adjustments are carefully aligned and appropriate.


  • understanding, following and giving directions
  • using a wide range of appropriate vocabulary
  • expressing needs, ideas and information
  • sequencing and prioritising tasks
  • negotiating with others and working in groups

These difficulties can present challenges when it comes to accessing the curriculum.

Designed for professionals

A well put together course offering extensive information, easy to navigate and complete online. I did enjoy the face to face meetings as well.

Primary Teacher

Course outline

Students with speech, language and communication needs may have difficulty at school due to the increasingly complex and specific language demands of different subject areas and social relationships. In many classrooms there are students who have difficulty:

  • understanding, following and giving directions
  • understanding and using appropriate vocabulary
  • expressing needs, ideas and information
  • organising, sequencing and prioritising tasks
  • negotiating with others and working in groups.

The course focuses on the impact of speech, language and communication needs on learning and outlines your responsibilities under the Disability Standards for Education 2005. It provides practical and achievable assessment strategies and supports the development of SMART goals and targeted interventions to address a range of identified needs.

This course is divided into sections.

  • Understanding
    You will learn about the prevalence of speech, language and communication needs, typical and atypical language development, and difficulties in receptive or expressive language skills and how these impact on academic progress and social inclusion.
  • Assessment for Learning
    Learn about the purpose and process of assessments and how to assess individual needs arising from SLCN. Use the course checklists to carry out individual assessments of attention, listening, vocabulary and other communication skills. Create three student focused SMART goals to start putting your learning into practice in the classroom.
  • Interventions
    Explore a range of adjustments to meet the needs of students with SLCN. Use evidence-based effective strategies to build student communication and language skills. Draw on the strategies included in the course to demonstrate the scaffolds and supports you will use to meet the identified needs of the learners you are supporting.
  • Case Studies
    View real video examples that illustrate the needs of the individual, the interventions implemented and their resulting progress.

Providing professional learning in disability and inclusion since 2008

I have thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the course. It provided a bit of everything and the case studies were very insightful.

Learning Support Teacher

Who is the course for?

Our Speech, Language and Communication Needs course is perfect for those who work in schools and specialist settings, such as teachers, learning and support teachers, teaching assistants and school leaders. The course is also suitable for speech and language pathologists in the education sector. The target age range is compulsory education, although the course may also benefit education professionals in early childhood and kindergarten settings.

Over 179,000 participants worldwide

Why join the course?

Participants’ pre and post-course evaluations demonstrate significantly increased confidence in identifying, assessing and supporting learners with SLCN.

How would you rate your current skills in planning and implementing interventions for students with SLCN?

  • Not confident
  • Somewhat confident
  • Fairly confident
  • Very confident


Pre chart
  • 3.9%
  • 30.9%
  • 60.3%
  • 4.9%


Post chart
  • 2.5%
  • 38.6%
  • 58.8%

As of December 2019

This course looks at the impact speech, language and communication needs can have on a student’s life and shows how you can make your classroom and practice more inclusive for these students. You will learn how to further understand their needs and develop a range of strategies to improve learning outcomes.

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What you will learn

On successful completion of the course, participants will be able to:

  • describe the prevalence and hidden nature of speech, language and communication needs
  • differentiate between typical and atypical stages of language acquisition
  • identify receptive, expressive and pragmatic language difficulties and evaluate their impact on access to the curriculum and social inclusion
  • explain the purpose and process of individual education assessments
  • use checklists to assess attention, listening, expressive language and fluency skills
  • observe and evaluate social use of language and independent learning strategies
  • design and plan strategies to support the development of phonological and articulation skills
  • devise interventions to strengthen and expand vocabulary
  • create opportunities to develop social skills and understanding of non-verbal language
  • develop an action plan to apply your learning in your classroom practice

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