Language and vocabulary strategies in the EYFS

Find strategies to help you enhance your focus on language and vocabulary in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). You'll also find an audit tool to help you review your current provision.

Last reviewed on 2 May 2023
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 42709
  1. A greater focus on early language and vocabulary
  2. Early learning goals in communication and language
  3. Review your teaching of language and vocabulary
  4. Take a close look at your strategic approach
  5. Consider these classroom strategies
  6. Register for the Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI)

A greater focus on early language and vocabulary

The updated EYFS framework includes more emphasis on communication and language (1 of the 3 'prime' areas of learning and development), through:

  • Quality back-and-forth interactions with adults and peers
  • Active engagement with a range of texts, such as stories, non-fiction and poems
  • Extensive opportunities to use and embed new words in a range of contexts

This more detailed approach to communication and language follows the principle that 'the development of children’s spoken language underpins all 7 areas of learning and development'.

See page 8 of the updated framework, and read more about the full changes to the framework in our other article.

Early learning goals in communication and language

Early learning goals (ELGs) define the level of development teachers should expect children to have attained by the end of the EYFS.

Narrow language development gaps Increase overall attainment for