Supporting oral language development (SOLD)

The challenge

Oral language development is critically important for young children as it is central to the process of learning and is linked to children’s literacy, social, emotional, and academic success. Strong oral language skills support children’s confidence and is a pathway for developing friendships and social relationships. Recent research has shown that many young children are entering preschool and school with low levels of oral language (Stagnitti, Paatsch, Nolan and Campbell, 2020). Teachers and educators play a crucial role in supporting children’s communication and language skills.

Project overview

The SOLD program is a series of self-paced modules that give teachers and educators an opportunity to work in partnership with Deakin University academics to develop their understandings of the components of oral language and the ways in which they can help enhance children’s communication and language. The program is designed to support teachers and educators working with young children in early childhood and the first year of schooling to: build their understandings and practices; use evidence to assess and inform practice; and to reflect on, and critique, practices that specifically aim to support young children’s oral language.

The teachers and educators work through each Module in sequence and engage with related resources to support their learning. They will also engage with a Participatory Action Research model to plan, implement, and reflect on their practices that aim to support young children’s oral language.

Outcomes

Participants are expected to incorporate new knowledge into their practice and will reflect and document the ways in which these practices support children’s oral language development. They will also observe and document children’s oral language development throughout the program to show impact of the program on children’s outcomes.

Funding

  • Department of Education and Training (DET), Victoria 
  • Melbourne Archdiocese of Catholic Schools (MACS) 

More information

Keywords

early childhood education, young children, oral language, language acquisition, communication skills and general knowledge, language and cognitive development, language and literacy education