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Cork Partnership - Happy Talk Case Study
23 May 2012 |
Happy Talk is supporting Junior Infant teachers in the five Primary Schools in the Glen and Mayfield area of Cork City. Following consultations with the schools, a model of support based on classroom-based modeling and coaching of language development strategies was devised. To identify the children’s needs the ‘Happy Talk’ Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) carried out assessments on a random sample of the Junior Infant children. Based on the findings, three goals were identified which formed the basis of the programme: listening skills, basic concepts such as top/bottom; first, next and last and phonological awareness including rhyming. The programme was also linked into the Primary curriculum.
 
A 9-week programme is now being run in the Junior Infant classes. Once a week, a ‘Happy Talk’ SLT visits the Junior Infant class. The children are divided into small groups. A teacher, Special Needs Assistant (SNA) or parent each takes a group of children and runs activities which have been developed by the ‘Happy Talk’ SLTs based on the three goals. At the end of each session the adults review how they have implemented the goals, any challenges involved and suggestions for further implementation. During the week the children continue to work on the activities with their teacher. At the end of Week 4 a review of the programme was undertaken and strategies were amended to further support the teachers.
 
The ‘Happy Talk’ team holds information sessions for parents in each of the schools. After an introduction to the Project, the parents visit the Junior Infant class and see the activities being run with the children. This is followed by discussion with the parents to discuss what they have seen and how they could support the programme with the children at home.
 
At the end of the 9-week programme, the ‘Happy Talk’ SLT will visit the school every 3 weeks to provide extra activities and support.