Phrases 1

See and Learn Phrases 1 is the second step in See and Learn Language and Reading. It is designed to teach young children to start to put two words together to express different meanings when they talk.

See and Learn Phrases 1 also introduces young children to reading words as sight words. Reading sight words helps children practice saying two words together.

Sight word reading is introduced in the context of reading simple picture books that illustrate the meanings of the phrases being taught.

The activities are intended to supplement natural, everyday opportunities to learn language with the additional support that most children with Down syndrome, and children with similar additional learning difficulties, need to learn to communicate.

Learning goals

  • Teach an understanding of 38 two-keyword phrases made from combining 16 sight words, selected from vocabulary that the child understands
  • Introduce books that illustrate the meanings of phrases and draw attention to the printed words beside each picture
  • Teach your child to recognize written words and to distinguish between them
  • Teach your child to link sight words with spoken words as you read to them and as they engage in teaching matching activities
  • Teach your child to see how sight words can be combined to form two-keyword phrases that convey meaning and to listen to how this corresponds with words being combined in spoken language
  • To practice saying words as your child reads them
  • Test understanding of sight words and two-keyword phrases through word/phrase to picture matching activities
  • Encourage your child to pay attention and engage in teaching activities for short periods of time


  • Designed to build on the children's relative strengths in visual processing and to minimize working memory demands
  • Designed to advance in small steps and offer lots of opportunities for practice and consolidation
  • Pre-selected sight words and phrases that are developmentally appropriate for children at this stage of language development
  • 8 simple reading books, illustrating 38 two-keyword phrases
  • 2 sets of 16 sight word cards and 16 word picture cards to support word to word and word to picture matching activities
  • 38 phrase cards and 41 phrase picture cards to support phrase to picture matching activities
  • Simple design to avoid distraction and focus attention on the learning tasks
  • A detailed guide with step-by-step instructions
  • Record forms to track your child's progress and plan the teaching activities
  • Resources for teaching in any English dialect (optional spoken prompts are included in the app editions with UK and US accents)
Screenshot of the See and Learn Phrases 1 app showing the images of 'dog' and 'bed'

Sight words and phrases taught

Sight words: baby, ball, bear, bed, brushing, cat, chair, dog, doll, drinking, eating, on, sitting, sleeping, table and washing

Phrases: brushing doll, brushing bear, brushing baby, brushing cat, brushing dog, washing doll, washing bear, washing baby, washing cat, washing dog, doll is drinking, bear is drinking, baby is drinking, cat is drinking, dog is drinking, doll is eating, bear is eating, baby is eating, cat is eating, dog is eating, doll is sitting, bear is sitting, baby is sitting, cat is sitting, dog is sitting, doll is sleeping, bear is sleeping, baby is sleeping, cat is sleeping, dog is sleeping, on the chair, on the bed, on the table, doll's ball, cat's ball, dog's ball, bear's ball, baby's ball

When to start

See and Learn Phrases 1 is designed for children who:

  • understand at least 50 words, including baby, bear, (to) brush/brushing, cat, dog, doll, (to) drink/drinking, (to) eat/eating, (to) sit/sitting, (to) sleep/sleeping, (to) wash/washing
  • can say or sign at least 5 of the words that they understand
  • can follow at least 3 two-keyword instructions - for example, "wash doll" or "put bear to bed" in a play situation

Children who have completed the activities in See and Learn Vocabulary 1 should be ready to start the activities in See and Learn Phrases 1.

Many children with Down syndrome will reach this stage by about 24 months, but rates of progress vary widely - some children will reach this stage earlier, some later.

Coming soon

See and Learn Progress Tracker

Our online progress tracker is coming soon.

Use it to monitor and support your child's development, with advice on activities and strategies to promote development, and guidance on which See and Learn steps may be able to help.

Next steps

Children who have learned the sight words and phrases in See and Learn Phrases 1 are ready to learn to put more words together and to read simple phrases using See and Learn Phrases 2 if they have also learned the required vocabulary (taught in See and Learn Vocabulary 2).

See and Learn Language and Reading teaches the meaning of spoken words and encourages children to practice saying new words. It is designed to be used alongside See and Learn Speech which includes activities to encourage clearer speech.

Screenshot of the See and Learn Phrases 1 app showing the phrase 'Brushing cat'

How to buy

See and Learn Phrases 1 is available as a printed kit or as an app for Apple iPads.