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The Early Years A Time to Talk

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1 The Early Years A Time to Talk
Karyn Johns Speech Language Pathologist

2 Why is talking important ?
Socialisation tool Teaching tool Family related factors – implications for teachers (how can we make a difference for some children…… ) Evidence base for development of literacy

3 Family influences SES (income, education, health, housing) has an impact on language/literacy outcomes So does the quality of parent-child interaction (more important than the toys/books) Strength of this interaction can over-ride the influence of the other background characteristics……

4 Massive differences exist in the language experience of children before they enter school
Talkative families – talk about what is happening, expand on children’s comments, take turns (strive for 5) = 48 million words heard before school Non-talkative families – talk about what to do, keep it simple and direct = 13 million words Children from talkative families hear positive feedback 3 times more often than children in non-talkative families. Talking Point Feb 2008 ECA

5 Start with this statement and then follow with examples of what the D and C mean (next lot of slides – plus might want to add more?) with activities they can do at home or in car that supports these skills. Don’t imagine using powerpoint unless you want but having as handout ???? Can still have activity stations – maybe have some commercial game and books on display to give ideas for buying gifts etc for their kids. Only concern is need some more info/guts for older grades ……. Talk more Thursday

6 Vocabulary & Reading Orally tested vocabulary at the end of first grade is a significant predictor of reading comprehension 10 years later. (Cunningham, A.E., & Stanovich, K.E. (1997). Children with restricted vocabulary by third grade have declining comprehension scores in the later elementary years. Chall, J.S., , Jacobs, V.A., & Baldwin, L.E. (1990).

7 Reminder Speech (relates only to what the tongue and lips are doing with the sound) Language (Sentence length, content, vocabulary, sequence etc) Developmental milestones – critical stages Screener Referrals – red flags (including early pre-language foundation skills such as eating and dribbling see slide 10)

8 Generally children will substitute another sound for one they are unable to say. Vowel sound development mostly occurs during baby babbling and are not usually mispronounced in mild-moderate speech delays. May be distorted in the speech of children with dyspraxia

9 (relates to levels of questioning – see slides 20 – 23)
Language What is it !!! Language includes both the receptive and expressive skills of listening and understanding words/sentences as well as using words and forming sentences to express feelings and ideas. Vocabulary (words and concepts) – fruit words; more; colours; size words; action words – cut Sentence length – more  more fruit please Grammar – me want it  Can I have it Understanding directions – pass me the red apple Understanding wh questions  which one’s fruit (relates to levels of questioning – see slides 20 – 23) Retelling stories  Hungry Caterpillar Emergent Literacy  Rhyme; print awareness; So that’s just the speech or sounds part of communication….. The area of language is actually about the content of the specific message – the thought or emotion or idea the child wants to share…….. The core of development that brings a baby to the brink of talking with words or language in their second year of life is the convergance or coming together of emotion, cognition and social connectedness with others. Children learn language as a way of connecting with others to share what they are thinking and feeling. The tools for communication and connecting are then specific language skills like……. With examples from the food theme ……

10 RED FLAGS Less than 50 words at 2 yrs (not just nouns but actions and descriptive words also) Simple sentences – age 3 yrs (e.g. sentences containing a noun, verb, object – “He’s riding a bike”) Following 2 step commands – 3 years Poor grammar – 4 years (errors in sentence word order e.g. “That’s hims bike”) Unclear speech – age 4 At risk, history factors (including chronic colds, ear infections, other siblings that may have been slow to talk) Raise red flags early and at the very least encourage parents to seek advice or have their child put on a wait list for further assessment. Reassurance that all is ok is just as valuable as detecting or confirming that a problem is present.

11 Quick Screener Designed to help gather evidence to speak to parents about a referral Not to be used on all children Most 4 year olds should complete it without difficulty Provides information about speech skills and two areas of language – vocabulary and comprehension of questions

12 Supporting Language Development
For all children ……. Teacher/Adult’s role (promote teamwork and collaborate with the parent/s, Speech Pathologist and the education and care setting) Environment Program Then for some children….(delayed; ESL…..) Inclusion strategies – direct teaching, focused goals, individual and small group learning opportunities, visual tools, specialist techniques and equipment

13 The teachers role What the adults talking should be doing …. – how we support language When do we support – ALWAYS

14 Teacher Interaction What does it look like?
THE IDEAL interaction is Responsive Engaging for children Conversational (strive for 5) Inquiry based - Asks questions THE REALITY Ask yourself if you ? wait for children’s turns ? maintain topics over turns ? use directive language ? tend to use rhetorical/testing questions Adults Extend conversation by: Using Thinking verbs (e.g. “I know…” “I remember…” Did you think that…” This is essential for narrative/story writing) Requesting descriptions & explanations Varying vocabulary Talk beyond here-and-now ? expand children’s comments ? talk about past, future or expand knowledge Hanen Centre

15 Summary of Hanen’s Top 10 Talking Tips
Child-Centred Strategies 1. Wait & Listen 2. Follow the Child’s Lead 3. Be Face to Face 4. Join in and Play Interaction-Promoting Strategies 5. Use a Variety of Questions 6. Encourage Verbal Turn-Taking Language-Promoting Strategies 7. Imitate (say back to them what they said to you) 8. Label (Label actions too – not just naming nouns/things) 9. Expand (e.g. ‘more’ – “More juice?”) 10. Extend (e.g. ‘more juice’ – “more juice in the red cup?”)

16 The Environment Visually supportive – see examples Routines Organised
Variety of learning groups Opportunities for child initiated activities – this way the child gets a chance to talk about their interests.

17 Making Talking Visual Why ? How ?
Talking is a fast stream of noise !!!! Highlights key words Maintains engagement Assists all to participate How ? Props for songs and stories (e.g. ‘Listening Lucy’ poster showing how to sit for listening e.g. body still, eyes looking, mouth closed) (gloves/puppets, prop bag with items related to stories, oversized green glasses for frogs, spray bottle to create water for ‘rain’ songs) Visualise the Daily Routine (e.g. have visual prompts for show and tell rather than have the teacher ask questions, use magazine pictures to show ‘rest time’ ‘song time’ ‘lunch time’ etc) Signing (gesture)

18 The program…. Explicit Linked Inquiry based
Time for children to practice Includes child interests/topics Developmentally appropriate Embedded goals for children with additional needs

19 Making the links when programming for language
Make it visual Choosing a book Language skills Activities Make it visual – give it all you’ve got. Be animated; slow down; change voice, volume and intonation; gesture Choose a book that matches interest and developmental level young – sturdy cardboard; plastic or cloth; clear illustrations Toddlers – board books with pictures; rhymes/songs; photo books; short in length, have few words; colourful and clear pictures; be easy to hold Older toddlers/early preschool – repetitive text; themed books; simple stories with a plot; flap books Preschool – more detailed story lines, allow prediction, fairy tales; talk explicitly about words/vocabulary; begin print awareness skills; plan follow up activities Language skills – your role is to engage the children, read slowly, allow children time to comment or question Model the language and new words and give the children a chance to use the language; Make comments that help the children relate the book to their own experiences – if an interesting conversation is occurring then feel free to abandon the words and reading for a while

20 Perceptual-language distance
II III IV perceptual Matching Perception Selective Analysis of Perception Reordering Perception Reasoning about Perception language distance Label Locate Match Repeat Describe characteristics, functions Identify perceptual differences Describe scene Infer Summarize Judgment/ evaluation ID abstract categories Predict Explain Blank, M., Rose, S.A., & Berlin, L.J. (1978). The language of learning: The preschool years. New York: Grune & Stratton. van Kleeck, A. (2003). Research on book sharing: Another critical look. In van Kleeck, S.A. Stahl, & E.B. Bauer (Eds.), On reading books to children. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

21 Abstraction Levels Example Level 1
Requires matching perception (answer immediately available Level 2 Requires selective analysis of perception Example Point to a Monarch butterfly. What do you see on Grandmother’s ofrenda (alter) ? What is a metate used for? What color are Monarchs? Ghost Wings by Barbara Joosse

22 Abstraction Levels Level 3
Required reordering of perception (prediction or reworking thoughts) Level 4 Requires reasoning about perception (reflect or interpret) Examples What is a migration? Name something that the girl would not put on the ofrenda? Why did the girl tremble when she was in bed? Why are scientists tagging butterflies?

23 Question-Answer Relationship Help the children know how to answer the questions at each level by telling them where to find the answer Where is the answer? Right there! Words are right there in the text Think and search! Words are in the text, but not spelled out for you. Think about what the author is saying. You and the author! Think about what you have learned and what is in the text. On your own! Answer is in your head.

24 Visual tools

25 Phonological Skill Development
Sensitivity to rhyming Syllable segmentation Awareness of onset-rimes m…an; f…an; r…an Phonemic awareness Segmentation of words into phonemes Phoneme discrimination Blending of phonemes Manipulation of phonemes

26 Strategies and Resources for transition to literacy
Cued Articulation Special word book Signing in Alphabet tree ELF program SLP

27 It’s exciting when things go wrong !
Sabotage Forgetfulness – no cup; equipment missing Visible but unreachable Violate order/sequence – change steps in game or use spoon upside down Assistance – lid too tight Sabotage and provocation encourages children to ask questions; express emotions; challenge events Share thoughts; Request action or information; tell others……

28 INCLUSION STRATEGIES Total communication - SE; key word; symbols; verbal Visual scaffolds – routines; timetable Visual props – songs; books Whole body listening Environmental Pre-teaching Explicit teaching (school readiness) Show examples – video/materials

29 Learning more than one language !!!
Important to understand families use and level of proficiency of the languages used in the home (be aware of speaking versus written language skills) Children have capacity to learn more than one language but it can be a slower process Benefit from visuals, repetition and individual follow up Complex process in identifying if child is having difficulties – seek specialist advice

30 Websites Hanen &
Early childhood learning resources project www. Early Childhood Australia – free fact sheets Resources QLD Health fact sheets Communities for Children Initiative Karyn Johns –

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