Communities for Children Facilitating Partners Evidence-based programme profiles

Learning Language and Loving It

Name

Learning Language and Loving It

Target audience

Infants (0-2 years)
Early childhood (3-5 years)

CfC Objective

Early Learning and Care

Organisation

The Hanen Centre

Delivery Setting

School-based

Description

A professional development program that equips early childhood educators/teachers with practical, interactive strategies for building the social, language and early literacy skills of preschool children.

Delivered to

Early childhood educators

Delivered by

Hanen certified Speech-Language Pathologists and Early Childhood Education Consultants/Trainers

Program Structure

The Learning Language and Loving It (LLLI) program provides participants with three categories of practical, research-based strategies for promoting every child’s social, language and emergent literacy development using natural everyday activities, routines and play:

  1. Child-oriented strategies encourage children to initiate so educators can attune to their interests and follow their lead.
  2. Interaction-promoting strategies encourage extended back-and-forth individual and group conversations between adults and children.
  3. Language-modelling strategies develop children’s language skills by providing developmentally appropriate language that expands what children say, adds new vocabulary and promotes decontextualized (or abstract) language.

There is a specific focus on fostering peer interaction and the connections between language and literacy development.

Training

The program is delivered by Hanen certified Speech-Language Pathologists and Early Childhood Education Consultants/Trainers who have attended a three-day or six session intensive train-the-trainer workshop that is delivered in person or online. (Note: With the current COVID precautions, all workshops are online.)

Participants are required to attend all three days or six sessions of the workshop from start time to end time. Hanen workshops are led by a Hanen Instructor who has successfully completed in-depth training from The Hanen Centre.

Upon successful completion of the workshop, participants can access these resources in the member portal.

Cost

The current fee to attend a LLLI workshop is $995 USD (although this is subject to change in the future).

This fee includes attendance at the workshop and upon completion of the workshop, access to all the LLLI training materials for providing an in-person program.

To access training material for offering the online version of the program, members pay an additional licensing fee of $34.95 USD.

Contact

Website: www.hanen.org

Evaluation and effectiveness

Several evaluations of the program have been undertaken with mixed results. An evaluation conducted in Canada (Girolametto et al., 2003) showed significant positive outcomes for participants – and it is on this basis that we have included the program in these profiles. However, a larger Australian multisite RCT (Eadie, 2019) did not establish positive outcomes for children in the program. Further details are given below.

An Australian study conducted in 2019 (Eadie, 2019) examined practitioner and child outcomes in 19 centres that participated in the LLLI program (intervention) and 19 centres that did not (comparison). Results showed that educators in the intervention group had improved their practices, however there were no observable changes in children’s vocabulary. Significant variability in scores for children within and across groups were also reported.

The program was also evaluated in Canada (Girolametto et al., 2003) using a quasi-experimental design. The results, as measured through validated tools and video observations, showed that compared to a matched control group, the children in the intervention made significant improvements in language and used more words in more combinations.

Eadie, P., Stark, H., & Niklas, F. (2019). Quality of interactions by early childhood educators following a language-specific professional learning program. Early Childhood Education Journal, 47(3), 251-263.

Girolametto, L., Weitzman, E.. & Greenberg, J. (2003). Training day care staff to facilitate children’s language. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 12(3), 299-311.