ABC and Beyond™ – The Hanen Program® for Building Emergent Literacy in Early Childhood Settings 

Hanen’s ABC and Beyond Program is designed to help educators of preschool children (ages 3-5) promote the emergent literacy skills that all children need to develop in order to learn to read and write successfully.

By taking the latest research in early literacy development and 'translating' it into practical, immediately usable strategies, ABC and Beyond makes it easy for educators to build literacy naturally into every part of the day.

Participants learn the most effective ways to promote the following six building block of literacy:

  1. Oral language
  2. Vocabulary
  3. Story comprehension
  4. Language of learning
  5. Print knowledge
  6. Phonological awareness

Program components

NEW! ABC and Beyond™ Online Program

The Hanen Centre has developed an online version of the ABC and Beyond Program. The online model allows you to attend the program from the comfort of your own workplace or home office.

The group sessions are live, and you log in to videoconferencing software that makes it easy to interact with your group leader and the other participants in the group.

There are separate video feedback sessions for you and the children you work with. Your group leader records you interacting with the children while you apply the strategies you have learned. You and your group leader then review and discuss the recording, which helps you identify what’s working well and what you can modify to help children even more.

To participate in an ABC and Beyond Online Program, you will need the following equipment:

  • A computer, iPad or a tablet (smartphones and cell phones do not have a large enough screen)
  • Webcam and microphone
  • High speed internet
  • Email access
  • Adobe reader (free download)
  • Printer, scanner, or photo capture and transfer (this is an optional requirement if you want to print out the handouts). All handouts are digitally available and fillable online
  • Access to software for video recording and streaming (such as OBS) in order to conduct online video recording and feedback sessions

Program Resources

During the program, you’ll use the guidebook ABC and Beyond: Building Emergent Literacy in Early Childhood Settings. Easy-to-read and filled with examples, this guidebook outlines practical strategies for using book reading and everyday conversations to build early literacy. To help bridge the gap between what’s addressed in the ABC and Beyond Program and what happens in the classroom, each chapter of the guidebook ends with a helpful checklist to guide implementation of the strategies.

Educators who are waiting to attend a program may purchase the guidebook in advance to give their learning a head start and to gain some practical strategies that they can start using with children right away.

Learn more about the ABC and Beyond guidebook.

Benefits of Taking the ABC and Beyond™ Program

An evidence-based approach to building emergent literacy

Firmly grounded in the most current research in early childhood literacy, ABC and Beyond strategies promote the emergent literacy skills that are considered fundamental for learning to read and write successfully.

Pilot programs of ABC and Beyond demonstrated that educators’ use of ABC and Beyond strategies had a significant impact on children gaining the new and important literacy skills they need to be prepared for success in school.

Click here to view a detailed research summary of the ABC and Beyond Program.

Practical strategies for use during everyday activities and conversations

ABC and Beyond strategies can be easily integrated into everyday conversations and literacy activities, meaning that educators don’t need to carve out any new time in their day. Each strategy is designed to make literacy-learning a fun and natural part of every child’s day.

The ABC and Beyond Program teaches a variety of practical, easy-to-remember strategies, such as:

  • Shoot for the SSTaRS – an acronym for teaching new vocabulary by Stressing the word, Showing and Telling the meaning, Relating the word to the children’s experience and Saying the word again.
  • Use E’s and P’s – refers to eight ways to extend the conversation to encourage the use of decontextualized language (Explain, talk about Experiences, talk about Emotions, Evaluate, Pretend, Predict, Project, Problem-solve)
  • POP – an acronym for Point Out Print, a strategy that encourages teachers to make print explicit.

The ABC and Beyond Program provides ample opportunities for educators to practice literacy-promoting strategies in the classroom and to get feedback from the Program Leader on how well strategies are being applied.

What Educators say about the ABC and Beyond™ Program...

“I now spend more time conversing about a book than just rushing to get it done to stay on schedule.”

“I never knew there were so many new and different things children could learn while listening to a story.”

“The children are more engaged and interactive with books. They bring me books throughout the day and use new vocabulary and talk about what we have read during other parts of the day.”

Attending the ABC and Beyond™ Program...

ABC and Beyond Programs are offered by Hanen Certified Speech-Language Pathologists and Hanen Certified Early Childhood Education Consultants/Trainers, To find a member who is certified to offer the Learning Language and Loving It Program, use the member search tool at the link below:

Find a Hanen SLP

If you're an early childhood education consultant/trainer or a speech-language pathologist...

If you’re a speech-language pathologist or an early childhood education consultant/trainer, and you’re interested in becoming a Certified ABC and Beyond Trainer, click here.

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