The West Coast Language Development Centre designs, trials and runs parent workshops and programmes to develop their skills in supporting their child’s language, comprehension and early reading. Over the course of a year both teachers and speech pathologists collaborate to run and/or present either stand-alone parent workshops or a programme over several weeks. The workshops are held at various campuses to minimise travel time and to cater for as many parents as possible.
In 2018 the WCLDC developed and trialled a parent book sharing programme for pre-primary parents which runs over the course of a Term. The parents learn and practise specific book sharing strategies to support language development (both talking and understanding) through book sharing. The programme has been run across the Padbury, Poseidon, and Quinns sites with positive results for both parents and pre-primary students.
In 2019 a new Kindergarten programme was developed and trialled which aimed to teach parents effective strategies to support their child’s oral language development. Parents learn a new skill and have the opportunity to practise the skill in the classroom context supported by their child’s speech pathologist.
A workshop called ‘Effective Reading Instruction’ is run in term 2, covering phonemic awareness and synthetic phonics. The workshop explains and demonstrates how early literacy skills are taught in a strategic, systematic and practical way. Parents actively participate by ‘having a go’ at using these strategies so that they can support their child’s reading. Parents receive a Parent Reading Workshop booklet that they can refer to in the future.