Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Tiny Talkers Training programme


Do you sometimes find yourself saying 'yes' then working out the practicalities later? I'm really bad at that, so when I was asked if I could  devise a training programme for 2 year olds that could be delivered mainly without taking the staff out of the nursery or pre-school, similar to the Languageland Programme that caters for 3-7yr olds, I said.......... 'Of course!'. I enlisted the the help of Helen Stretton, and we set about working out a training package with a 6 week programme.


There will be an initial training session without the children to set the scene and introduce the ideas that we're going to demonstrate. There isn't anywhere that pulls together the framework of communication and how everything fits together, so we'll start with that.We'll look at attention, listening, auditory memory, information-carrying words as well as vocabulary and other important concepts.


Each of the 6 sessions following will see the therapist run the group and discuss why she is doing an activity. The staff will be able to follow with aim/activity sheets with explanations which tie in with what they learned in the first classroom session. There will also be sheets which give more ideas, further activity suggestions and useful books to back up what has been covered. 


We have designed it so that others can use it so there is a sheet for each session for the person delivering the session to suggest exactly how to deliver it for maximum effect.
Helen is piloting it in September in Burton with a project working with staff from 2 pre-schools and a group of 2 year olds and their parents, funded by the Community and Learning Partnership. Lisa Griffiths, the Smart Talkers Franchisee from St Neots will do a second pilot in her area. The idea then is to sell it to other speech & language therapists or special needs co-ordinators so they can deliver the training in their settings. We have a  publisher who is interested already.


If you know of any settings who are wondering how they could improve their knowledge of language in 2 year olds but who don't want to spend money on staff cover, then this is for them. www.private-speech-therapy.co.uk or www.smarttalkers.org.uk


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