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The Early Years A Time to Talk


Ask yourself if you ? wait for children's turns ? maintain topics over turns ? ... ELF program. SLP. It's exciting when things go wrong ! Sabotage ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Early Years A Time to Talk

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

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

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

Massive differences exist in the language
experience of children before they enter school
  • Talkative families talk about what is
    happening, expand on childrens 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

(No Transcript)
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).

  • 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)

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
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 ones fruit
  • (relates to levels of questioning see slides 20
  • Retelling stories ? Hungry Caterpillar
  • Emergent Literacy ? Rhyme print awareness

  • 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 Hes riding a
  • Following 2 step commands 3 years
  • Poor grammar 4 years (errors in sentence word
    order e.g. Thats 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

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
  • Provides information about speech skills and two
    areas of language vocabulary
  • and comprehension of questions

Supporting Language Development
  • For all children …….
  • Teacher/Adults role (promote teamwork and
  • 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

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

Teacher Interaction What does it look like?
  • THE IDEAL interaction is
  • Responsive
  • Engaging for children
  • Conversational (strive for 5)
  • Inquiry based - Asks questions
  • Ask yourself if you
  • ? wait for childrens 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
  • This is essential for narrative/story writing)
  • Requesting descriptions
  • explanations
  • Varying vocabulary
  • Talk beyond here-and-now
  • ? expand childrens comments
  • ? talk about past, future or
  • expand knowledge
  • Hanen Centre

Summary of Hanens Top 10 Talking Tips
  • Child-Centred Strategies
  • 1. Wait Listen
  • 2. Follow the Childs 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
  • 8. Label (Label actions too not just naming
  • 9. Expand (e.g. more More juice?)
  • 10. Extend (e.g. more juice more juice in
    the red cup?)

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.

Making Talking Visual
  • Why ?
  • 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)

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

Making the links when programming for language
Perceptual-language distance
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.
Abstraction Levels
  • Level 1
  • Requires matching perception (answer immediately
  • Level 2
  • Requires selective analysis of perception
  • Example
  • Point to a Monarch butterfly.
  • What do you see on Grandmothers ofrenda (alter)
  • What is a metate used for?
  • What color are Monarchs?

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

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
  • Where is the answer?
  • Think and search!
  • Words are in the text, but not spelled out for
  • Think about what the author is saying.
  • Where is the answer?
  • You and the author!
  • Think about what you have learned and what is in
    the text.
  • Where is the answer?
  • On your own!
  • Answer is in your head.

Visual tools
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

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

Its 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

  • Total communication - SE key word symbols
  • Visual scaffolds routines timetable
  • Visual props songs books
  • Whole body listening
  • Environmental
  • Pre-teaching
  • Explicit teaching (school readiness)

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

Websites Hanen www.zerotothree.o
rg Early childhood learning
resources project
/ www. Early
Childhood Australia free fact sheets
ing_best_practice/supporting_best_practice.html R
esources QLD Health fact sheets Comm
unities for Children Initiative
Karyn Johns