Let’s Listen and Talk is not a typical distance learning programme. Whilst some of it is web-based and where possible we try to communicate electronically, the detailed support we provide is personal and carefully tailored to your individual family’s needs and those of your child.
What are the key features of the programme?
We know from our many years working with children and families at The Elizabeth Foundation that babies and young children learn best from the people they love, feel secure and spend the most time with.
Let’s Listen and Talk recognises that families are the best educators of their children. but that these families need specialist, friendly advice and support, especially when their children are very young. We know that it’s all about team work – and we are here to help!
Bearing this in mind, our Let’s Listen and Talk programme has the following key features.
One of our course leaders will provide you with tailored, individual support based on your child’s needs via your choice of telephone, online, email, video and/or Skype.
Home lesson plans
By following the Let’s Listen and Talk online home lesson plans in our courses you will use natural play and daily routines at home to develop your child’s listening skills, their understanding skills (their receptive language) and their spoken communication skills (their expressive language).
We have designed the home lesson plans so they use common and easy-to-find toys and household items. They include examples of activities to promote your child’s listening and speaking, and video clips to show how you should carry them out.
Much of the content and many of the activities in the lesson plans are based on the techniques our Teachers of the Deaf use in our classrooms, and on our successful and long-running print-based Home Learning Programme that has helped many hundreds of deaf children and their families since its launch in 1986. We developed our Home Learning Programme partly by adapting some elements of The John Tracy Clinic’s original correspondence course (with their kind permission).
Feedback from you
A key part of Let’s Listen and Talk is monitoring and feedback from you. You can report back regularly on what your child is doing, how he or she is responding to the activities in the lessons and any concerns you might have about related issues.
Feedback for you
Your course leader will closely monitor your child’s progress and provide regular feedback to you. Each family will have an experienced Elizabeth Foundation course leader who will work with them, supporting them through the programme, reviewing their child’s progress and suggesting how to move forward.
Practical advice based on years of experience
The Let’s Listen and Talk programme provides expert and up-to-date advice on issues relating to deafness and hearing loss, including easy-to-access guidance papers and video clips. The advice you will receive covers wide-ranging topics including:
- emotional issues related to receiving the diagnosis of deafness
- technical concerns relating to audiology and commonly-used terms and jargon
- advice around speech and language development for children with hearing loss
- suggestions on how to address problems experienced by parents bringing up a child with a hearing loss
- practical activities to promote all aspects of your child’s listening and communication skills
We have special online discussion forums just for families participating in the Let’s Listen and Talk programme, with contributions and moderation by our expert course leaders. You are welcome to join these online discussion forums so you can share your experiences with other families and support each other.
Access to other families and resources
When you enroll on our Let’s Listen and Talk Programme you become a part of The Elizabeth Foundation’s friendly and ever-growing group of families both past and present. We have special online forums just for members of our programme so you can communicate with and support each other.
You are also welcome to participate in our events and make use of our extensive resources. We hope you will get involved! But your level of involvement is entirely up to you.
The following video also includes examples of the types of activity we will show you how to use in the Let’s Listen and Talk programme.
How our support can help your child learn to listen and speak
In this video, you can listen to the experiences of the mother of a young boy who has attended The Elizabeth Foundation’s preschool nursery in Portsmouth since he was diagnosed as a baby.
She talks about the approach we use at The Elizabeth Foundation and why she thinks her son and their family have benefited from it. Towards the end of the video you will see examples of some of the activities you will learn in the Let’s Listen and Talk programme.
What do other parents think?
We collect on-going feedback about Let’s Listen and Talk from all of the parents who are participating in the programme. We welcome all feedback on the programme and will use it to continuously improve the service we offer to families enrolled on it.
Feedback on our courses
This is some feedback from users of Let’s Listen and Talk:
“With the Toddler Programme, I am not feeling lonely or overwhelmed anymore. I’m opening my laptop and I’m feeling support from professionals who understand how it is being the parent of a deaf child. With every lesson, they provide encouragement and have tips and ideas for how to help me to support my baby.”
“I especially liked watching the videos of other parents in the early parts of the lesson as I think it is always so reassuring to feel that you are not alone!”
“I really loved this lesson. I thought the examples were brilliant.”
“I think the parent videos are great and I feel that parents of newly diagnosed children would find this really helpful and supportive.”
We have based Let’s Listen and Talk partly on our successful print-based Home Learning Programme, which has helped hundreds of children with hearing loss and their families over the past three decades. Using our long-running distance learning programme we have been able to help many families who were unable to attend our family centre. Here is some typical feedback:
“Thank you for being by our side all of these months. We are really feeling so good to see [our child’s] development so far and we are committed to going all the way with your support. Thank you!”
“Our daughter had her annual assessment recently and it showed that she has made two years’ worth of progress for her language development in one year! This is truly a reason to celebrate. Thank you so much for your valuable advice and information. It really helps.”
“There are great ideas for each parent. One can select games, enrich one’s ideas and use a variety of games with your child. I find the lessons and reporting very helpful indeed.”
A message from other parents
We also have a short video you might be interested in watching from parents who know us and who have a little advice they would like to share with other families setting out on this road.
If you choose to enroll in the Let’s Listen and Talk programme you will also be able to watch videos of parents discussing their experiences in more detail.
A poem to parents – from other parents
You are not alone! Other parents have stood where you are standing now. In this short video, you can hear a poem written by other parents of children with a hearing loss, sharing a little of their experience with the benefit of some hindsight.