Learning Language and Loving It™ Resources for Early Childhood Educators
Do you have a child in your classroom who rarely joins in group activities, and who often keeps to himself during play time? Do you have children who dominate group discussions, preventing others from taking a turn? What about second-language learners and children who have language delays?
Learning Language and Loving It resources can show you simple yet powerful strategies for ensuring that all children have the chance to participate meaningfully in classroom activities. You’ll discover ways to engage every child you work with in positive, enriched interactions throughout the entire day so that they can develop the language and social skills that will be critical to their future success.
Learning Language and Loving It™ – A practical, research-based solution
Learning Language and Loving It resources include a comprehensive guidebook and a companion DVD that provide easy-to-use strategies for helping children interact and communicate effectively in early childhood settings.
The resources describe three kinds of responsive interaction strategies that are known to promote children’s social, language and emergent literacy development:
- Child-oriented strategies – These strategies encourage children to initiate and engage in conversational interactions so that educators can respond in ways that encourage the child’s continued engagement in the interaction.
- Interaction-promoting strategies – These strategies encourage extended individual and group conversations between adults and children.
- Language-modelling strategies – These strategies expand the child’s oral language skills and facilitate the development of decontextualized (or abstract) language.
The strategies you’ll learn in the Learning Language and Loving It guidebook:
► Ensure that all students in the classroom have opportunities to interact and learn
Learning Language and Loving It strategies are geared toward a wide range of children, from typically developing children (including second-language learners) to those with delayed social and/or language skills.
No matter what the makeup of your classroom, Learning Language and Loving It can help you ensure that every child receives the kind of support and encouragement he needs to succeed. That’s because it uses a three-pronged, comprehensive approach aimed at:
- Prevention of Language Delays for children at risk and second-language learners;
- Early Language Intervention for children with language delays; and
- Language Enrichment for typically developing children.
► Can be easily integrated into the daily activities you’re doing with your students
Learning Language and Loving It strategies can be easily woven into the everyday classroom activities you’re already doing with your students. Each strategy is designed to engage and maintain the interest of your students, making language and literacy-learning a fun and natural part of their day.
An example of a strategy from Learning Language and Loving It is “SSCAN to Interact with Every Child in the Group”. Some children are left out during group activities because they lack the social or language skills to get fully involved. These are the children that need your help the most, which is why “SSCAN” shows you how to draw these children in to ensure that they have an equal opportunity to learn language and to develop social skills.
SSCAN to interact with every child in the group
Click on the link below to view sample pages from the guidebook explaining the first part of this strategy, “Small groups are best”:
► Are drawn from an evidence-based approach
The strategies from the Learning Language and Loving It guidebook are drawn from the Learning Language and Loving It Program for Early Childhood Educators, an evidence-based and reputable program that’s grounded in the most current research in the field of early childhood education.
The program’s efficacy has been supported in a series of studies showing positive changes for both educators and children. Click on the link below for a detailed research summary supporting the Learning Language and Loving It Program:
To read more about the Learning Language and Loving It Program, click here.
Learning Language and Loving It resources make learning the strategies easy with:
► Clear explanations and examples of scenarios for implementing each strategy
Every strategy in the guidebook is accompanied by many realistic examples including dialogue and illustrations to help you understand what you should be looking for, and how you should respond in specific situations.
► Helpful Observation Guides
These guides will help you take a closer look at the interactions of each individual child in your classroom to see where he or she needs help.
► A Learning Language and Loving It™ DVD and User’s Guide that show you exactly how strategies are implemented
The Learning Language and Loving It DVD provides real-life examples of teachers using responsive strategies in play and in daily activities with their students to create stimulating, interactive language-learning environments. The video examples show teachers interacting with groups that include all kinds of students – those who are typically developing, those with language delays, and those who are second language-learners.
The Learning Language and Loving It DVD comes with a helpful User’s Guide which provides you with comprehensive descriptions of the strategies you view on the DVD, describing in detail what can be learned from the interactions in each video.
Together, these resources show you how educators make language-learning a natural, enjoyable part of play and daily activities for all children in their early childhood setting.
How other educators have used Learning Language and Loving It™
Read the case study below to see how Kim, an educator in a toddler room, discovered the power of Learning Language and Loving It:
Kim had been working in the Toddler Room at the East End Child Care Centre for five years. She loved her job and particularly enjoyed seeing the children’s enjoyment as they participated in the daily activities she planned for them. But Kim was challenged by Nathan, a two year-old in her group who did not seem keen to interact with her or join in with the other children. He would watch the other children and appear interested in what they were doing, but he otherwise spent most of the day playing alone in the block centre or at the sand table.
Nathan’s mother reported that he communicated very well at home and used about 50-100 words, but Kim rarely heard Nathan talk at child care. If he needed to express something important, he would sometimes come and get Kim or point to what he needed. Kim tried to encourage Nathan to talk by asking him questions about what he was doing but Nathan typically responded with only a nod. She also urged him to “use his words” but, again, he typically just nodded or walked away.
Not sure what more she could do, Kim talked to her supervisor, who recommended that Kim have a look at the Learning Language and Loving It guidebook and DVD.
From the first chapter of Learning Language and Loving It, Kim was able to connect with the described issues and examples. As she read about the different conversational styles that children demonstrate (click here to see sample pages), she began to suspect that Nathan fit the profile of a child with a reluctant conversation style. A child with a reluctant conversation style rarely initiates communication unless his need is critical but will often respond by nodding. She also began to think that she had been playing the Director role, one of the many common roles described in the guidebook, which may make it difficult for a child to play an active role in an interaction. By asking Nathan many questions and urging him to “use his words”, she realized that she may have been putting too much pressure on Nathan and actually discouraging him from communicating.
Kim’s suspicions were confirmed when she watched examples of children with reluctant conversation styles on the Learning Language and Loving It DVD. Kim was particularly impressed by the contrast videos of Jo-Anne and Mari. Click on the link below to view this clip:
Mari interacted very much like Nathan, and Kim was impressed by how Mari’s communication increased when his teacher, Jo-Anne, stopped asking questions and giving directions. When, instead, she took the time to observe, wait and listen to see what interested Mari and then followed his lead by imitating him, Mari become much more animated and eager to communicate. Kim learned more about how to OWL (Observe, Wait and Listen) and "Follow a Child’s Lead” in Chapter 3 of the Learning Language and Loving It guidebook and was excited to try these same strategies with Nathan (click here to see sample pages).
The next day, Kim joined Nathan at the sand table. This time, instead of directing lots of questions to him, Kim took the time to OWL, and noticed that Nathan liked the feeling of the sand sprinkling through his fingers. Kim remembered the video examples she viewed on the Learning Language and Loving It DVD and decided to imitate what Nathan was doing by making a fun sound as the sand fell between her fingers. After doing this a few times, Kim was amazed when Nathan looked up at her and said “again”. As Kim continued to play with Nathan and focused on following his lead, she heard more language, such as “fall down” and “dirty sand.” Kim was thrilled that she had found a way to connect with Nathan, and excitedly returned to the Learning Language and Loving It guidebook to learn how she could keep the conversation going with Nathan (Chapter 3) and also how to support Nathan’s communication when in a group with the other children (Chapters 4 and 7).
Give every child in your classroom the best possible opportunities to develop strong language and literacy skills. Click on the links below to order Learning Language and Loving It resources today.