Growing Words

Growing Words provides early childhood educators with online training in culturally relevant communication strategies, fostering children’s skills for school readiness.

Program details

  • Priority area: Communication (language development)
  • Primary audience: Educators
  • Delivery mode: Group training, online
  • Strength of evidence: Level 3 – Promising research
  • AEDC sub-domains:
    • Language and cognitive development – basic literacy
    • Language and cognitive development – interest literacy/numeracy and memory
    • Communication skills and general knowledge – Communication and general knowledge
  • Item cost: Moderate ($200–$2,000 per person/item)

Program description

Growing Words is an online professional learning experience for early childhood educators that delivers culturally relevant communication strategies to develop children’s comprehension, connection and contributions so they are prepared for school. The program is available as a full-day workshop or package of 7 online courses. Educators receive tools to help develop children’s speech, language and literacy so they can build healthy relationships with themselves and others through good spoken and written communication.

Content includes:

  • Learning to listen and understand: How to speak so they will listen
  • Putting ideas and thoughts into words: Simple steps to help children’s expressive language
  • Vocabulary: Play with words and watch their vocabulary flourish
  • Speech sounds: Techniques to help teach speech sounds
  • Stringing sentences together: Modelling long and logical sentences
  • Telling my story: How to teach storytelling to little ones
  • Literacy ground work: Setting up for success at school

Detailed cost

  • Growing Words Package (7 one-hour online workshops): $790 (including GST) per person
  • Growing Words Online Full Day Workshop (5 hours + one hour lunch break): $660 per person per workshop

Implementation considerations

  • Target population: early childhood educators.
  • Program/practice descriptions and details: in its current form, the program is delivered live online through Microsoft Teams.
  • Program adaptability: the organisation is exploring the use of a learning management system to deliver the program as a self-paced learning module with extra downloadable resources to support learning and implementation. This may alter the pricing, but this can be discussed prior to changing the format.
  • Staffing: staff may be required to access backfill to participate in learning modules.
  • Australian experience: this course is specifically designed for Australian kindergarten teachers by an experienced speech pathologist from Queensland. Participants are expected to provide their own require a device with laptop and internet connection to access the online learning.

VEYLDF alignment

Item uses these practice principles

  • Reflective practice
  • High expectations of every child
  • Respectful relationships and responsive engagement
  • Equity and diversity, Integrated teaching and learning approaches
  • Reflective practice
  • High expectations of every child
  • Partnership with professionals

Item responds to these sub-outcomes

  • Children interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes
  • Children engage with a range of texts and get meaning from these texts
  • Children begin to understand how symbols and pattern systems work