I had the privilege of attending an e-Seminar presented by the Hanen Centre. In case you’re unfamiliar with Hanen, this non-profit organization produces a number of educational materials for SLPs, providing workshops, online training opportunities and resources to professionals who work with young children and their families across the globe. The e-Seminar, entitled “Make Words Sparkle for Preschoolers and Kindergarten Children: Bring Vocabulary to Life During Book Reading and Daily Interactions,” by Tamara Stein, M.Sc.(A) –SLP(C), was a two hour, live course packed with a lot of great information.
The e-Seminar was interactive and engaging; throughout the course of the presentation, the instructor had us “raise our hand” to indicate whether we agreed/disagreed with a statement, ask questions, and to participate in surveys.
This e-Seminar provided a lot of great information! Below is some of the content that I am excited to implement within my therapy sessions.
Selecting First Words
When we are teaching children first words it is important to find meaningful words related to his/her environment. Also, it is vital that we continue to build on their vocabulary, gradually introducing new words.
Stepping up the Content Level
Adjusting the content level according to the child's stage of development is important to ensure that they are expanding their vocabulary.
Step 1: fast
Step 2: quick
Step 3: rapid
Selecting the Right Books
We want to get children excited about reading! Some of the tips that we can use include, but are not limited to:
-Choosing topics of interest
-Introducing new vocabulary
-Choosing books with interesting illustrations
Multiple Exposures and Repetition
It is important to expose children to vocabulary in different environments and repeat the new words multiple times.
Labeling items while you are in different settings helps to increase opportunities for children to pair word meanings with real life experiences.
Use attributes to describe words to get a bigger picture of what is being described in the book.
For example the picture to the left displays grapes.
Describing words: Round, Green, They grow on a vine.
Special Thanks to the Hanen Centre and Tamara Stein for providing an informative e-Seminar. I am looking forward to attending more of these sessions! For more information about Hanen online learning, including a training schedule and listing of topics, click here.
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"The Hanen Centre is a Canadian not-for-profit charitable organization committed to supporting parents, early childhood educators and speech-language pathologists in their efforts to promote the best possible language, social and literacy skills in young children" (Hanen Centre, 2011).