The Online Group Intervention for Language Emergence Programme became a necessity upon the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak and replaced our more traditional in-person Language Group sessions. The programme is designed for children who are progressing well in individual speech and language therapy and who will benefit from a slightly more dynamic but structured setting which targets the development of their Receptive and Expressive Language Skills with matched peers. These Online Groups comprise of a minimum of three (3) children and a maximum of four (4) children who are matched for language age. The programme does not only focus on building skills but should have a positive impact on building confidence and self-esteem levels related to using language skills in the long run. Sessions are conducted online via tele-practice and judging from the results we have achieved since we launched this programme in March 2020, these sessions are very effective and in addition have stimulated a faster pace of progress for group participants noted in their individual therapy as well.
The Online Group Intervention for Language Emergence Programme focuses on the development of language and play skills while offering the participants in the group an opportunity to interact with each other. The programme aims to use engaging and purposeful language games and activities as a platform to enable children to learn and practice new language comprehension and expression strategies focusing on child specific goals within a small structured group setting.
Some of the goals targeted include appropriate greetings, posing a question, responding to questions and knowing how to respond in return, expanding sentences, describing personal narratives, story telling, story concepts, categorizing, comparing/contrasting, describing, defining, sequencing, problem solving etc. IN addition, some examples of group targets are to improve engagement, self monitoring and overall monitoring, conversation skills, repairing communication breakdowns, joint referencing, turn-taking, listening, being aware of and responding to cues both visual and auditory etc.
The Online Group Intervention for Language Emergence Programme is designed for a specific group of children matched for their language ages. Currently, we have several groups comprising of elementary-aged children, children in middle-school, teenagers and young adults all of whom have delayed language development and/or a language disorder but are matched by their language ages to the other peers in the group they are allocated to. The by product of attending these language groups are the friendships formed between the children which is heartwarming to observe!
Those selected for group therapy are usually children who are already receiving individual speech and language therapy at Care Speech reducing the need for placement assessments to be conducted before a group block begins. For children who do not receive speech therapy support in Care Speech, a detailed report and orientation session will be necessary to enable accurate peer matching within the Language Group.
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