True to our founding principles, we’ve invested to upgrade our skills. We’re now thrilled to offer a new, evidence-based early literacy preparation program for preschoolers based in the communities we serve.
It’s called PreLit, by MultiLit.
What is PreLit?
PreLit is a systematic, skills-based early literacy program for preschoolers who will be starting school the following year.
(It’s also a program for kids in Kindergarten, Year 1 or Year 2 who are struggling to learn the basic skills needed to learn to read.)
Which skills does PreLit target?
Each 30-minute, highly-structured session includes:
- phonological awareness training, including letter-sound links, and the blending and segmenting of speech sounds; and
- shared story book reading of 36, specially selected, children’s books, including print awareness instruction and reading strategies.
Each PreLit session is complemented by 15 minutes of free play-based activities designed to stimulate oral language development using evidence-based principles of language stimulation.
The key predictors of school readiness include:
- phonemic awareness;
- letter-sound knowledge; and
- oral language skills (including oral language comprehension and vocabulary skills) (Callaghan & Madelaine, 2012).
These skills are:
- prerequisites for decoding, spelling and comprehension skills in the early years of school. Children who start school without these skills are likely to struggle during the initial years of reading instruction; and
- even stronger predictors of school readiness than social and behavioural factors (e.g. Prior, Bavin & Long, 2011).
PreLit targets these skills. The program is designed to be suitable for most preschoolers, including children with developmental language disorders and limited exposure to books.
How does it work?
Currently, we offer PreLit sessions in two formats:
- small groups (fewer than 5 children); and
Classes are taught twice or three times a week in a comfortable quiet space, with the kids seated on the floor in front of their instructor.
Who leads the PreLit sessions at Banter?
I’ve been trained in PreLit by the program designers. I’m also Spalding-trained and a Certified Practising Speech Pathologist with a good knowledge of phonology, phonemic awareness, pre-literacy skills and the science of reading. For example, I understand that preschoolers need to:
- see and to hear clear pronunciation of the speech sounds to link the sounds to the letters; and
- develop literacy and oral language skills (including vocabulary skills) together.
You can read our more detailed summary of evidence-based reading instruction principles here.
PreLit is consistent with the principles of effective pre-literacy training summarised in the:
It’s based on Positive Teaching principles (e.g. Wheldall & Bradd, 2010), adapted for preschool and clinical settings.
Who designed PreLit?
PreLit was designed by MultiLit, a leading research initiative of Macquarie University, under the leadership of Emeritus Professor Kevin Wheldall, AM, and Dr Robyn Wheldall (nee Beaman). “MultiLit” is shorthand for “Making Up Lost Time in Literacy”.
For more than 20 years, MultiLit has been dedicated to improving literacy outcomes in Australia with evidence-based, user-friendly resources.
If it’s not clear, I’m a fan of their work!
Department of Education and Training (Cth). (2009). Belonging, Being & Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework, via here.
- Kick-start your child’s reading with speech sound knowledge (phonological awareness)
- Reading with – not to – your preschoolers: how to do it better (and why)
- Preparing your preschooler to learn to read: skills to focus on first
- Teaching the alphabet to your child? Here’s what you need to know
- Do we spend too much time on rhyming books? What else should we do to prepare preschoolers to read?
- Is your child ready for school? Focusing on what matter most
Banter Speech & Language is owned and managed by David Kinnane, a Hanen- and LSVT LOUD-certified speech-language pathologist with post-graduate training in the the PreLit early literacy preparation program by MultiLit, the Spalding Method for literacy, the Lidcombe and Camperdown Programs for stuttering, and Voicecraft for voice disorders. David is also a Certified PESL Instructor for accent modification.
David holds a Master of Speech Language Pathology from the University of Sydney, where he was a Dean’s Scholar. David is a Practising Member of Speech Pathology Australia and a Certified Practising Speech Pathologist (CPSP).