The Early Language & Literacy (EL&L) Program equips educators, parents and community members with the knowledge and tools required to work with their own children to develop foundational language and literacy skills.
The program works primarily with urban, regional and remote communities that experience common challenges including health and developmental issues, trans-generational illiteracy and disengagement from education. These factors impact upon a child’s ability to learn and engage with education.
Adults in the community are provided with the requisite teaching tools, resources and strategies to mediate these issues and positively impact children’s school readiness, engagement and attendance.
The program’s whole-of-community approach strengthens the ability of educators and community members to teach their own children fundamental literacy skills, while increasing the skillsets, capabilities and engagement of participating adults.
By building the capacity of community members to teach pre-literacy skills, children achieve greater literacy and numeracy outcomes, since the capability to continue delivering this service remains with the communities.
The project’s purpose aligns with international and domestic evidence, which indicates that strong pre-phonics and early language/vocabulary skills are vital precursors for success in reading development and educational engagement.
Similar research identifies that a disparity exists upon school entry in the early language and literacy experiences between children raised in higher socioeconomic conditions and those in lower socioeconomic conditions.
We aim to close this gap, so all children are able to commence school ready to learn, regardless of socioeconomic status.
The Early Language & Literacy program is also offered in both English and Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Languages, with resources available in both digital and physical formats. The use of First Language with young children contributes to strong literacy growth in English, and aligns with international best practice in building strong oral language skills in the early years as a precursor for strong literacy and language development in the later years.