Junior Infants Programme
Junior Infant Programme – 4-5 years
Happy Talk works in 5 primary schools in the Glen and Mayfield area. The Junior Infant Programme involves supporting the Junior Infant teachers, wider staff, the children and their parents. The Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) use standardised tests to assess the language levels of a random sample of Junior Infant children in Term 1. Re-assessments are carried out at the end of the school year to see if language levels have changed.
Coaching and training is at the core of the Happy Talk model. Happy Talk is based on the hypothesis that coaching staff and parents from crèche and preschool to junior infants in primary school would have an impact on the overall language and learning outcomes for children. The process generally begins with a parent session, where parents are guided through language development strategies and activities. The parents are encouraged to engage proactively in the session, by making resources such as rhyming dices or monster boxes that they will use in the classroom with their child. The parents then enter the classroom with the SLT and participate in the session with the SLT coaching the teacher, SNA or parent as they run activities with a group of children. During the week the children continue to work on the activities with their teacher.
Junior Infant Programme Content
Listening skills including: listening rules and listening games.
Strategies including: modelling, expanding, and balancing questions with comments.
Language development including: sorting words, linking words and developing knowledge of concepts.
Narrative skills including: sequencing using a storymap, using colourful stories to answer questions(what, where, start, what happened, end), using conjunctions to create complex sentences and acting out stories.
Phonological Awareness including: blending and segmenting compound words, identifying syllables in words and identifying sounds in words.
Rhyme: the children learn a rhyme each week that relates to the session in some way, for example, rhymes that use conjunctions relates to the children learning to use complex sentences.