Learning Language and Loving It™ Resources for Speech-Language Pathologists and Early Childhood Consultants
If you’re looking for practical resources that you can share with educators to help them create enriched and inclusive learning environments that foster the social and language skills development of preschool children, then Learning Language and Loving It resources can help you.
These step-by-step, easy-to-use resources outline simple strategies that educators can use to help all children in their classroom learn – including those who are second-language learners and those whose social or language skills are delayed or at risk.
If you train or consult to early childhood educators, you’ll find Learning Language and Loving It resources indispensible tools for empowering educators to be sensitive and responsive to the communication needs of the young children they work with. You’ll be helping them give every child in their classroom the best possible opportunities and encouragement to interact meaningfully with their peers and teachers and to develop the strong language and social skills that are critical for 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 educators with easy-to-use strategies for helping children interact and communicate effectively in early childhood settings.
The resources show educators how to implement 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.
►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 those who are typically developing (including second-language learners) to those with delayed social and/or language skills.
When educators use the Learning Language and Loving It approach in early childhood settings, they’re ensuring that every child receives the help and encouragement he needs. That’s because the resources use 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 integrated into the everyday classroom activities that teachers already do with their students, making language-learning a fun and natural part of the children’s 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 often left out during group activities because they lack the social or language skills required to get fully involved. Since these are the children that need the most help, the “SSCAN” strategy shows educators how to draw these children in to ensure that they have an equal opportunity to learn language and to develop the social skills they need.
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 on the link below:
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 educators understand what they should be looking for, and how they should respond in specific situations.
►Helpful Observation Guides
These guides may be photocopied and used to help educators take a closer look at the interactions of each individual child to see where he 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 includes comprehensive descriptions of the strategies used in the DVD, describing in detail what can be learned from the interactions in each video.
Together, these resources demonstrate how educators can make language-learning a natural, enjoyable part of play and daily activities for all children in their early childhood setting.
How speech-language pathologists have used Learning Language and Loving It™ Resources
Read the case study below to view guidebook and video examples, and to see how one speech-language pathologist used Learning Language and Loving It in her work with early childhood educators:
Deb is an SLP who works for an early intervention agency. She had been working with Amy, a four year-old girl with Down Syndrome, and she was providing Amy’s parents with suggestions from the It Takes Two to Talk® guidebook on how to promote Amy’s communication skills. Amy had been progressing well, and her parents reported that she was initiating communication much more frequently at home and starting to use more single words, in addition to pointing and gesturing. However, despite Amy’s increasing communication at home, her parents reported that when Amy was at the child care centre, she would just sit and watch the other children, and the staff were having a hard time getting her to talk.
Deb decided to visit the centre to observe Amy and to hopefully provide some helpful suggestions to the staff. Deb knew there were helpful suggestions in the It Takes Two to Talk Guidebook, but this guidebook addresses 1:1 interactions between a parent and a child. A child care centre posed some very different challenges. Deb needed to be able to help the staff support Amy’s communication development with lots of other children around who were also competing for their attention.
Deb decided to take along the Learning Language and Loving It guidebook and DVD since these resources are specifically targeted at early childhood educators and teachers. After spending some time observing Amy in her classroom, she realized that the staff really did not know how to involve Amy in group interactions that were often dominated by the more verbal, sociable children.
During sleep time, Deb met with the two educators in Amy’s room, Gina and Mary, and she asked them for their input on Amy. They admitted that they just didn’t know how to involve Amy in a group since she didn’t talk like the other children. Deb agreed that it could be challenging to engage children who don’t communicate verbally, but she added that children like Amy may be able to participate in alternative ways while their verbal language is developing.
Deb shared a video example from the Learning Language and Loving It DVD of a teacher named Helen interacting with Kateleen, a child at a similar communication stage as Amy.
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After viewing the video, Gina and Mary realized that Amy may have been communicating more than they thought when they looked beyond words. Deb encouraged Gina and Mary to complete a copy of the Observation Guide at the end of Chapter 2 (click here to see this Guide) to develop a better understanding of how and why Amy communicates. Deb also drew their attention to Chapter 5 on “Encouraging Interaction in Groups”, and showed them how the “SSCAN” strategy could provide them with specific suggestions for increasing Amy’s involvement.
Deb shared another two contrast video examples from the DVD that demonstrate how a teacher successfully increases a child’s interaction in a group by making a few simple changes such as moving the child where she can be more easily seen in the group by the teacher, modeling gestures and offering the child a prop so the child can interact nonverbally in the conversation and using the child’s name more frequently as a turn-taking cue. Click on the video below to view this clip:
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Deb then referred Gina and Mary to the Learning Language and Loving It guidebook for specific examples for how they could encourage Amy’s interaction in a group (click here to see the page Deb showed them). Deb decided to leave the Learning Language and Loving It guidebook with Gina and Mary so they could review the information they discussed, and she agreed to return in two weeks to see how Gina and Mary had made out.
Two weeks later, Gina and Mary excitedly reported that Amy was now much more engaged in their group activities. They had begun focusing specifically on offering Amy clear opportunities in which she could take a turn in the conversation and they noticed that Amy had moved from only watching the other children to actively taking part in the conversation with actions, gestures and a gradually increasing number of words. Deb was so encouraged by the positive impact of the Learning Language and Loving It strategies that she decided to investigate attending the Learning Language and Loving It workshop to become a Learning Language and Loving It Program Leader.
Help educators create the enriched language-learning environments all preschoolers need to build strong language and social skills. Click on the links below to order Learning Language and Loving It resources: