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Ask to repeat instructions


One of the most useless questions you can ask of someone is “Do you understand”? They will probably say “yes” to please you. Instead you should check for understanding.

You can ask someone to:

  • explain what you just said in their own words
  • repeat the instructions to somebody else
  • answer series of short questions such as “where do you go?” and “what do you do next”

Related difficulties and strategies 

People with dyslexia will struggle with complex instructions because of the time it takes them to process the information. They don’t have trouble understanding. Asking them to repeat will give them more time.

People with a learning disability may struggle to understand complicated language. This strategy will help them to understand the content of your instructions.


No resources are needed for this strategy.

You will need to train yourself not to ask “do you understand”. This is a difficult habit to break.

It may also feel a bit condescending to ask someone to repeat instructions. But it will be less so if you establish a routine.