Speech and Language: The Critical Link to Literacy Development

The presenters of this workshop are Eilis and Lauren, speech pathologists from SPOT Paediatrics at Seacombe Gardens in South Australia.


The role of an SLP, what do SLPs do? Summarise outline of session

What is speech?
What is language?
Red flags
Simple speech and language strategies for the classroom

Interactive activity/discussion

Foundations of literacy and the link with speech and language development
Critical skills for learning to read:

Phonological Awareness Phonics

Group discussion/activity

Phonics-the importance of a phonemic approach

  • Whole word vs phonemic approach (sight words vs sounding out)
  • Pathways used by the brain to read (graphically presented ‘dual route hypothesis’ simplified and explained)

Application and intervention- ideas for early literacy activities in the classroom

Special populations

  • Dyslexia (what to look for, how to help)
  • Children with special needs (Language Disorder, ID, ASD, CCN)

Evidence based programs (Readers, Literacy Programs- Four blocks, Jolly Phonics, Multilit, Minilit)

Group discussion/activity


Lauren joined the Adelaide community in 2014 following her relocation from the USA.  Lauren obtained her Bachelors degree from Michigan State University followed by a Masters degree at The University of Vermont. Post university, Lauren completed her clinical fellowship in Seattle, Washington at a multidisciplinary practice specializing in the treatment of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. As a SPOT Paediatrics Director and Speech Therapist Lauren has a broad range of experience across a variety of ages and diagnoses.  She’s passionate about tailoring treatment to fit each individual she works with in order to provide the best possible outcome for all.

 As a SPOT Paediatrics director and Speech Therapist Eilis has extensive experience working with children of all skill levels and diverse needs. She has worked for DECD in metropolitan and regional positions, far north rural communities, a special school and private practice throughout South Australia. Eilis values the hard work and effort put in by teachers and feel that together teachers and speechies have a very important role to play in language learning and literacy. Eilis very much enjoys her role as a speech pathologist particularly when children and parents have that ‘lightbulb’ moment and something clicks!


This workshop is suitable for special education, early childhood, junior primary, primary and secondary educators. Parents and other professionals are welcome to join us.


‘I am a kindy relief teacher and I have been to one workshop previously and it was informative and at a good level of understanding so thank you for running these at an affordable price’ Marian Harper (Early Childhood Teacher)

‘I enjoyed the workshop. It was informative and we were able to share views and opinions. I was able to update my knowledge on students with disabilities’. Gaylene Green (JP Teacher)

‘I found the session really informative and enjoyed that you covered all types of strategies for different behavioural needs. I found it really beneficial for you to mention/list the different resources available. This session will definitely improve my one on one sessions with students and I look forward to attending some more of your seminars” Chandra Payne (School Services Officer)

‘Leanne’s workshops convey practical information and insights in a relevant and concise manner. I have learnt so much about many aspects of special education, incorporating positive strategies and resources, which I can readily use to support my professional practice. I thoroughly recommend Leanne’s workshops as a great source of professional learning for us as educators, to feel inspired and well-supported’ C.B.

‘This workshop exceeded all my expectations’ Abbie Kemp (Junior Primary Teacher)