Teddy Talk: Supporting EAL Children in Nursery

Teddy Talk is a structured language development programme for EAL pupils in ELC.  It is adapted from the original CHAT (Communication , Help and Awareness Team) programme provided by various Speech & Language Therapy services in Scotland.

Teddy Talk is intended for children in the early stages of English language acquisition. It has proven results for quickly developing core vocabulary and self-confidence. EAL children in the ‘silent period’ will often start to speak after Teddy Talk sessions.

Sessions take about 15-20 minutes, and each session is built around a repeated, predictable framework that includes:

  1. Rules of good sitting, listening and looking
  2. A Hello Song and greeting
  3. Some games
  4. A Story
  5. A Goodbye song and farewell

A sequence of around 10 sessions is ideal, with each session provided two or three times each week to reinforce language acquisition.

Have a look at this demo (in Spanish) to get an idea of how a session looks for an EAL pupil.  


Watch a demo of Teddy Talk in English.




Choose from any of these topics that support what you are currently doing in your nursery, or use them as a framework for developing your own. Just click the theme title to download a Word document with guidance and visual resources. If possible, use actual objects or toys in preference to flashcards. The topics are ordered in terms of difficulty. The first topics are suitable for pupils new to English and the latter ones for pupils working towards greater fluency:

FamilyFamily - My mum, my dad and meFamily
Farm animalsA Very Busy Spider by Eric CarleFarm Animals
PetsDogs by Emily GravettPet vocabulary (dog, cat, rabbit)
Animals and Habitats - Walking in the JungleWalking in the Jungle by Julie LacombeAnimals and Habitats
MinibeastsMad About Minibeasts by Giles AndreaeMinibeasts - Insects
Colours - Elmer's ColoursElmer's Colours by David MckeeColours
NumbersFive Little Ducks songNumbers to 5
Space - Five Little Men in a Flying Saucer - Five Little Men in a Flying SaucerFive Little Men in a Flying SaucerSpace
My Body - Is This My NoseIs This my Nose? by Georgie BirkettMy Body
Days of WeekThe Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric CarleDays of the Week
ToysPresents by Rod CampbellToys
SizeGoldilocks and the Three BearsSize
FeelingsWhat Do I Look Like? by Nick SherrattFeeling adjectives (happy, sad, scared, etc.)
TransportBig Red Bus by Judy HindleyTransport
People Who Help UsPeople Who Help Us by Amanda AskewPeople Who Help Us
ClothesThe Emperor's New ClothesClothing
Four SeasonsUn-Brella by Scott E FransonFour Seasons
Wild AnimalsHanda's Surprise by Eileen BrowneWild animals, fruits, adjectives
Food & ShoppingThe Elephant & the Bad Baby by Raymond Briggs & Elfrida VipontFood items, going shopping
In My SchoolbagUsborne First Experiences – Going to SchoolSchoolbag and contents
PiratesTen Little Pirates by Mike BrownlowPirates
My HouseThe Three Little PigsMy House, rooms
Daily routine
Daily routine - images
Can’t You Sleep, Little Bear? by Martin WaddellDaily routines
BabiesTopsy and Tim and the New Baby by Jean Adamson and Belinda WorsleyBabies and looking after babies
OppositesKipper's Book of Opposites by Mick InkpenOpposites
Days of the School WeekAnholt Family Favourites: Billy and the Big New School by Catherine and Laurence AnholtDays of the School Week
Chinese New YearThe Great RaceChinese New Year
It's Christmas TimeIt's Christmas TimeChristmas
Christmas - The Nativity StoryChristmas Nativity StoryChristmas
Easter - Spot's First EasterEasterEaster
SensesSensesthe Five Senses
Parental Permission

If you think parents may be concerned about their child participating in this activity, here’s an information and permission slip that will hopefully alleviate any concerns.

Record Keeping Sheets

Here are some record sheets to keep track of sessions that are taking place for Teddy Talk in your setting.

Teddy Talk Record of Activities