We conduct a special program for preschool-aged children designed to enhance their language learning—whether they are typically developing, learning English as a second language, or exhibiting communication delays. Our program focuses on the development of language skills as a key to learning.
Language Based Preschool
We believe that children are active learners. When given a language-rich learning environment, children will actively construct language from their experiences. All children are viewed as candidates for language enhancement. Language teaching is most effective when it focuses on the interests of individual children during natural interactions in the classroom setting. Since language crosses all areas of development, we believe in an integrated approach where cognitive, social-emotional, motor, and other learning occurs throughout the day and in the context of meaningful activities.
Preschool in action
The curriculum is designed to be appropriate for 3 to 5 year old children and to follow developmentally appropriate practices with regard to the development of cognitive, social, and motor skills. The preschool curriculum is rooted in content themes and children’s interests, which allows for consistency in mental “thinking” processes and motivation from which language learning emerges. For example, if the theme for the week is “construction,” then individual activities can focus on various ways of building things, the people who build, what to build with, and so forth. Any topic can be extended through play materials, art activities, and story books for consistency and planned redundancy across a day's activities.
The preschool program is divided into two groups which meet on either Monday and Wednesday morning or Monday and Wednesday afternoon. Preschool times are from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The program runs year-round, coinciding with the fall, spring, and summer semesters at Indiana University. There are breaks between sessions. Enrollment in each group is typically limited to a maximum of 10 children, with the number of children with communication delays limited to 6, to maintain diversity in the children we serve. The other 4 children in the class have typically developing language and social skills and are native English speakers or children that are English language learners.
Our experienced preschool teachers and certified speech-language pathologists establish the curriculum and supervise the program. Three graduate clinicians in speech-language pathology are assigned to each of the two groups, in order to help stimulate language acquisition for all children and to help establish and implement objectives for communication delayed children during the day. A certified speech-language pathologist serves as the clinical supervisor for each of the groups and collaborates with both the classroom teacher and the graduate clinicians.
For more information about preschool services, please call the Speech-Language Clinic at (812) 855-6251.
Our department and clinics do not discriminate in the delivery of services for any reason including race, color, ethnicity, sex, age, gender identity/gender expression, religion, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, veteran status, disability, culture, language or dialect.