The West Coast Language Development Centre is a unique Independent Public School that has two key services, Early Direct Intervention for students, located over four sites, and Outreach for supporting mainstream schools. The student program caters for students in Kindergarten to Year 1 identified with primary language impairment (Developmental Language Disorder). Our students all show average abilities in the non-verbal domain, have sound adaptive behaviour but struggle with oral language.
The Early Direct Intervention (student level), Outreach (mainstream school and network level) and Research and Development services make an important contribution to teaching and research in the area of speech, language and its impact on the acquisition of literacy. The synergism and cohesion among service delivery, teaching and research leads to changes in classroom practice as knowledge increases, ‘best practices’ are identified, and service needs are recognised within the centre and across mainstream schools.
This is achieved through high quality assessment, teaching and learning that informs and is informed by research and evidence. Teacher leaders and support staff empower and build the capacity of teachers so that they are transformational leaders in their own classroom. This is in the context of a highly effective school with differentiated, cohesive teaching and learning approaches. The development of this specialised capacity in the area of language development is a key role of the speech pathology team.
The development of an effective service requires the coordination and integration of the service aspects (Early Intervention and Outreach) to ensure cohesive service delivery where elements of the service both build, and build on from each other. The West Coast Language Centre Services works in partnership with the other Language Development Centres to provide an integrated cohesive approach to speech and language services across the state.