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Preschool Class
Reading a Book
childrens books
Playing with Wooden Alphabets

There are 3 strands to the project:

1. Practitioner Capacity Building- Hanen Learning Language and Loving It

SPECS supports early years practitioners and teachers to develop language supports through the Hanen Learning Language and Loving It programme.  It focuses on the important role that educators/teachers play in a child’s life and equips them with the skills to positively influence children’s language and literacy development by engaging in responsive and cognitively stimulating interactions. Modelling, coaching and mentoring are at the heart of the Learning Language and Loving It programme and ongoing support after the programme is provided.

2. Language Development - Languageland

Languageland is a vocabulary development programme which targets social skills, early literacy skills (phonological awareness skills) and vocabulary.  It was developed to provide support to children in mainstream schools that had a speech and language delay but is easily delivered to all children in a whole classroom setting.  Languageland has three strands with specific programmes for children in preschool, junior infants and senior infants.  After a period of training and coaching with the speech and language therapist the Early Years/school staff can deliver the programme in their classrooms without the need for a therapist to be present. 

3. Early Intervention through parental support- Language focused Primary Care Clinics and Parent and Toddler Groups

The Public Health Nursing team and SPECS SLT jointly host a monthly developmental clinic with parents.  Children of all ages attend the clinic and meet the PHN and SLT together.  The SLT is able to give advice, identify the need for referral, provide reassurance to worried parents about their child’s development and/or how they can access supports if necessary.

SPECS have also set up a language focused parent and baby group utilising the PEEP programme. The PEEP language group takes place on a weekly basis and is particularly useful for parents looking for support with late talkers or if English is a second language.


To find out more about our Language Development Programme please email

Language Development

It is really important for children to develop good speech and language skills.  Children who have good speech and language skills have better social communication skills and are better equipped for starting school and learning to read and write.


SPECS have teamed up with the HSE Speech and Language department in Bray to launch the Chatterboxes project.  The aim of the project is to bring SLT services out of the clinic and into the community.  The Speech and Language Therapist works directly with staff in early years services and primary schools across Bray as well as with parents to empower them to support children’s speech and language development.

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