The Indiana University Speech and Hearing Center conducts a special program for preschool-aged children. In general, the program focuses on development of language skills as a key to learning. Thus, the program is designed to enhance the language learning of preschool children, whether they are typically developing, learning English as a second language or exhibiting communication delays.
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/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday. Preschool times are from 9:00-11:30. 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 communication delayed children limited to 6, to maintain diversity in the children we serve. The other 4 children in the class are typically developing and are native English speakers or children that are English language learners.
We have experienced preschool teachers and certified speech-language pathologists who 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 (812)