Hanen: It Takes Two To Talk

This program is designed to give parents practical strategies to help their children learn language through natural interactions.

Program details

  • Priority area: Communication
  • Primary audience: Parents/carers
  • Delivery mode: Group training
  • Strength of evidence: Level 3 – Promising research evidence
  • AEDC sub-domains:
    • Communication skills and general knowledge
    • Language and cognitive development – basic literacy
    • Language and cognitive development – interest in literacy/numeracy and memory
  • Item cost: Variable

Program description

It Takes Two to Talk is part of a suite of programs developed by the Hanen Centre to promote children's language and literacy development. The program is designed to give parents practical strategies to help their children learn language through natural interactions.

Online program delivery

COVID-19: Please note that this program can now be delivered online by practitioners who are certified to do so by the Hanen Organisation in order to offer support that follows government guidelines surrounding COVID-19. View more information.

Detailed cost

The program is delivered by a Hanen-certified speech pathologist and costs will vary depending on the provider.

Implementation considerations

Target population: the program is aimed at parents of young children with language delays.

Program/practice descriptions and details: the program shows parents how to:

  • recognise children's stage and style of communication, in order to know which steps to take next
  • identify what motivates children to interact with parents, to help parents get conversations started
  • adjust everyday routines to help children take turns and keep interactions going
  • follow the child's lead to build their confidence and encourage them to communicate
  • add language to interactions with children to help them understand language, and then use it when they are ready
  • 'tweak' the way parents play and read books with their children, to help them learn language
  • change the way parents speak to their children, so that they will understand and learn new words.

Programs include:

  • 6 to 8 training sessions for parents in small, personalised groups
  • a pre-program consultation for families and children with the speech pathologist
  • 3 individual visits for families and children with the speech pathologist. Families are videotaped practising strategies to help achieve specific communication goals. Families and the speech pathologist then watch the taped interaction to gauge what's helping the child, and what could help further.

Factors to consider: educators should ensure a partnership approach with families to ensure child outcomes and strategies are consistent between the home and service environment.

VEYLDF alignment

Item uses these practice principles

  • Partnerships with families
  • High expectations for every child
  • Respectful relationships and responsive engagement
  • Integrated teaching and learning approaches

Item responds to these sub-outcomes

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