Looking for something?

Find it in our extensive resource library!

Smart Filters

  • Reset
  • Services

  • Who it's for

  • What it’s about

  • Format

View: 626

Download: 4

Higher level strategies to support comprehension monitoring

Strategies for developing comprehension monitoring

Many young people with comprehension difficulties do not recognise that they do not understand, which result in misunderstandings and is a barrier to learning. Other young people may not have the confidence or be too embarrassed to ask. This can look like non-compliance in the classroom as it can be easier to not engage at all than to say you don’t know (especially in front of other peers).

It is therefore important to understand and develop your young person’s strategies for requesting help, and to build their confidence for asking for help by honouring requests for help or clarification.

Visual support

  • Agree a visual support system with your young person so that they can tell you whether they understand, whether they will give it a go or whether they need help, for example,
    • Check in cards
check in card 1check in card 2check in card 3
    • Help board

example of a help board

    • Gesture system (such as thumbs up or down)
    • Bespoke system that helps your young person to communicate that they need support (for example a gesture, sign or action that would not be noticed by other peers such as finger on table, pencil at the top of the table)
    • Encourage all young people to say when they have not understood
  • Have a ‘check in’ system – it helps if you can agree what this will look like with the young person. Examples that some young people use:
    • Teaching staff to approach to check in at the start of a task or activity
    • Gesture, sign or use an action that would not be noticed by other peers such as finger on table, pencil at the top of the table
  • Check back with the young person that they have understood what they are meant to be doing by asking open ended questions. For example:
    • “What do you need to do?”
    • Avoid ‘do you understand’ – many young people will say ‘yes’ even if they don’t
  • Teach specific phrases that help the young person to communicate that they don’t understand, for example:
    • “I don’t understand”
    • “I don’t get it”
    • “You said too much”
    • “I’m confused”
  • Teach specific questions that help the young person to resolve the breakdown, for example:
    • “What do I have to do?”
    • “Can you say it again?”
    • “Can you say it more slowly?”
    • “What does that word mean?”
    • “I don’t get the bit about…”
  • Praise the young person when they ask for help. For example:
    • “That was really good when you said you didn’t understand”
    • “that was really good when you asked for help”
    • “Good checking”


For more information please contact the Speech and Language Therapy Service at Flockton House on 0114 226 2333.

Is something missing from this resource that you think should be included? Please let us know

Contact us


Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

Resource number: SL247

Resource Type: Article

How useful did you find this resource?*


Western Bank
S10 2TH

United Kingdom

Switchboard: 0114 271 7000

Interesting Facts

We’ve got a special MRI scanner just for teddies so children can see what it’s like before they have a scan.

Help to transform our extraordinary hospital into something even better.


By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.