20 Tips to Help Learners Who Don’t Comprehend Your Instructions

Are you looking for tips to help students who don’t comprehend your instructions? If so, keep reading.

1. Teach and have the student practice how to listen for crucial information when they are being given instructions or receiving information (e.g., write down main points, ideas, step-by-step instructions; etc.).

2. Give the student written directions and instructions to supplement oral directions and instructions.

3. Give chances for the student to talk to others on a one-to-one basis. As the student becomes more successful at listening and keeping attention, slowly include more people in conversations.

4. Provide simple, specific instructions to the student.

5. Converse with the student to explain (a) what they are doing wrong (e.g., failing to listen for keywords, etc.) and (b) what they must be doing (e.g., listening for keywords, etc.).

6. Take into account the student’s age and experience when expecting them to listen to and follow instructions.

7. Find a list of word endings, keywords, etc., that the student will practice listening for when someone is speaking.

8. Show instructions following the (1) What, (2) How, (3) Learning materials, and (4) On occasions where outline.

9. Teach student listening skills: • Separate working. • Clear desk of nonessential learning materials. • Attend to the source of information. • Jot down essential points. • Ask for clarification. • Wait until all instructions are received before beginning.

10. Ensure the student has heard what was said by having them give acknowledgment (e.g., by saying, “Okay!” “Will do!” etc.).

11. Inform the student what to listen for when being given instructions or receiving information.

12. Assess the visual and auditory stimuli in the classroom and remove or lessen the unnecessary environmental stimuli.

13. Talk concisely when delivering directions, explanations, and instructions.

14. Get the student to take notes following the “What, How, Learning materials, and On occasions where” format when instructions are being given.

15. Consider using a classroom management app to help the student follow directions and instructions . Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

16. Consider using Alexa to help you with classroom management. Click here to read an article that we wrote on the subject.

17. Click here to learn about six bonus strategies for challenging problem behaviors and mastering classroom management.

18. Read this article that we wrote on developing listening comprehension skills.

19. Read this article that we wrote explaining why verbal comprehension skills are important to academic success.

20. Read this article that we wrote on what you should do when your child struggles with verbal comprehension.

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