Sounds Good to Me Literacy
‘Sounds Good to Me’ is an innovative evidence-based educational resource that has been developed and piloted in New England and North West NSW. It is a training package for early childhood educators and teachers, targeting phonological awareness in pre-school children.
Phonological awareness is the explicit knowledge that words are made up of sounds. Phonological awareness can be taught and is strongly predictive of later success in literacy acquisition. School teachers report that children are commencing school without the skills needed to learn to read. As the Kindergarten curriculum is vast, there isn’t time to teach pre-literacy skills so children without phonological awareness are falling behind.
There is strong evidence to indicate that one of the greatest social determinants of health is poverty and the most effective ways to move out of poverty is through education. In rural Australia, children are at risk of educational disadvantage for a number of reasons including limited access to medical specialists and speech pathology services, high levels of unemployment and social disadvantage. Children with speech disorders and those with middle ear dysfunction (a group in which Indigenous Australian children are over represented) are at particular risk.
“Sounds Good to Me” consists of a 1 day work shop and resource kit to train early childhood educators to include listening, book awareness and phonological awareness into their programs for children in the year before they start school.
A pilot program of 5 workshops in 2014/15 was successful in engaging early childhood educators and in delivering results for participating children. Feedback from the early childhood educators was also positive. The program poster has been presented at two conferences. HealthWISE seeks to expand the reach of this resource and give more children, particularly those in rural, remote and regional areas, a foundation to learn to read and write. This will have a positive effect on their life in general, including wide-ranging effects on their health across the lifespan.
For further information on this program or to find out about upcoming workshops contact: Anne Williams – firstname.lastname@example.org