We have an exciting start to 2018, with January seeing the introduction of Little Listeners, the latest course from our Let’s Talk project aimed at improving children’s speech and language skills in their formative years.

The free, fun, interactive five-week course begins on Friday 12th January at Cambridge Road Children’s Centre for children from their 2nd birthday to their 4th birthday and their parents.

Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist Rosa Wright explains the course: “Little Listeners developed as we found that some children who had completed our Talking Toddlers course would benefit from more focused work on their looking and listening skills before moving on to our Chatting Children course. The course is designed for children who would benefit from developing their attention skills as well as their language skills.”

Listening is one of the most important skills that children need so that they can learn from the world around them. Children need good attention and listening skills to remember what has been said.

Good attention and listening skills help with:

  • Social skills
  • Understanding words
  • Following instructions
  • Learning to communicate
  • Speech sounds
  • All areas of learning

The course (which has a maximum group size of eight children) has a series of entertaining activities, building and improving the child’s response to parents and their interactions. Much of the sessions will involve tactile, sensory activities, including stories with noises, as well as tactile games such as the ever popular parachute game, surprise box activity and craft activities.

It is designed to be a lively course, with parents building patterns of behaviour and improvements in these patterns week-on-week, stressing the importance of routine in various situations throughout the day. We touch on other factors, such as the impact of a child’s nutrition on their behaviour and responsiveness to communication, something we cover in more depth with our HENRY project.

The course develops language as well as responsiveness, building on techniques in other Let’s Talk courses, such as parents modelling language for children (saying the correct phrase/language for the child to follow). The sessions also aim to reduce the language of parents (parents making language appropriate) as well as the questioning by parents. There will be a focus on the importance of looking at people and listening to people.

If you are in an ABSS area and would like to your child to attend the course visit our events page or contact rosa.wright@pre-school.org.uk 01702 534549.

If you are unable to get a place on the January course, don’t despair! Further courses are scheduled to take place in March.


Article published December 2017

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