Colourful Semantics

speech and language therapy in schools chatterbug

Colourful Semantics Blog 


When a child struggles with verbal communication, this could be due to a number of different reasons and can impact multiple areas of learning and development e.g. written and verbal communication, friendships, confidence and self-esteem, academic attainment etc.


Difficulties with language can leave children far behind their peers when they start school, making education much more challenging from the beginning, playing catch up which can sometimes continue throughout their entire education.


If children with language difficulties do not receive the input they require, this can contribute to other difficulties and setbacks. For example, they may not be able to progress academically due to weak sentence structures or gaps in their vocabulary may limit their voluntary participation in class. They may also struggle to produce narratives (written and oral) which will impact on the child’s ability in successfully participating and contributing to conversation as they will struggle to talk about events and retell stories such as ‘what they did on the weekend’, ‘what happened on the playground’ etc. 


At the age of 5, when a typically developing child prepares to enter KS1, they should have fluent and grammatically conventional speech. By the end of KS2, children should be able to use complex sentence structures both in their speech and written communication. They are also expected to create detailed narratives, use appropriate vocabulary and use a variety of grammatical structures and tenses. 


But when children are unable to do this and they do not achieve their language milestones for their age, the appropriate intervention needs to be implemented immediately to support the development of language. This will also prevent the gap widening between the child and their peers. This is where Colourful Semantics (CS) comes in! 


CS is a language intervention which teaches children to understand and construct their own sentences using specifically coded colours. The visually engaging intervention can be used with a range of children both in mainstream and specialist education settings. Children who will benefit from this intervention includes children presenting with the following difficulties:

  • Developing written and/or verbal narratives
  • Vocabulary 
  • Sentence structures
  • Verb tenses
  • Story retell
  • Reading comprehension – just to name a few!


ChatterBug is a leading speech therapy specialist providing support for schools and training for teaching staff and other professionals working with children with Speech, Language and Communication Needs, to ensure children are given the best possible chance of catching up with their peers. Without an effective intervention, children often fall behind, struggling with education and even limiting their future employment opportunities.


This is why it is so important for education and childcare professionals to have specific training to help them to identify children with language difficulties and implement intervention in a timely manner. This will be covered in our upcoming training event: Colourful Semantics on Wednesday 27th January 2021, 1 – 3pm. 


On completion of this training, attendees will be trained in CS and will be able to immediately start delivering this intervention approach within their settings, either one-to-one, in small groups or as a whole class approach. This approach can be used with children as young as 4! The course will equip attendees with the skills to support children with language difficulties and how to develop their expressive language skills in and out of the classroom. 





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