Count on Words

Introduction to Count on Words

Count on Words is an intervention programme to support students’ development of Maths vocabulary, increasing their access to Mathematical learning, and their ability to achieve. It was developed by Mary Hare School for deaf students, however it could greatly benefit any students with delayed language or low language levels, including Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) and English Language Learners (ELL).


Maths has one of the largest glossaries of technical language. Many words  have  different meanings in different  contexts  e.g. scale, mean, pi  and  irregular plurals (datum/data, index number/indices).  Some words have many different forms: multiple, multiples, multiply, multiplying, multiplies, multiplier, multiplied, multiplicate, multiplication. Additionally, there can be many words to describe the same thing e.g. add, plus, total, sum, all together. The words selected for this resource were taken from the most frequently occurring words on Mathematics GCSE papers (Edexcel 2017 Specification). All students can benefit from exploring Maths vocabulary. Studies into educational outcomes in children around the world have found language skills and vocabulary knowledge to be contributing factors to Mathematical success. Students with low language levels require explicit teaching of key vocabulary to acquire new language and enhance progress.


Exposure to new words and their meanings.

Repetition to ensure words are committed to long-term memory.

Variation of the word in all its forms and meanings.

Research tells us that vocabulary instruction works best when it is explicit and engaging with frequent exposure over time. Activities should use visuals and games, make connections and capture the student’s interest. Our intervention programme is based on these principles.

Each topic consists of five 30-40 minute sessions. Follow the instructions in the notes section on each PowerPoint. Activities are designed to increase exposure to language, and improve memory, understanding and spelling. There are attractive images, discussion activities and jokes. All resources are provided including an assessment to track individual word progress.