Children need the best-possible playful experience to learn language. Research has shown how children learn to develop their language mostly through some form of adult-supported play (Zosh et al., 2015; Weisberg et al., 2016; Toub et al., 2018). But playing involves more than taking out a box of toys from the cupboard. Schematic pedagogy (Atherthon & Nutbrown, 2016) looks at how children’s play schema can be used to support their learning. In this workshop we will explore the latest research in play schemas and guided play and how this can be used to develop listening and spoken language strategies.

The development of strong Executive Function in children depends on their day-to-day learning experiences. We will explore the potential impact of a hearing loss on a child’s Executive Function and how we can address this through playful experiences. “Play is not frivolous: it enhances brain structure and function and promotes executive function (ie, the process of learning, rather than the content), which allow us to pursue goals and ignore distractions” (Yogman, M. et al. 2018).

This is a practical training day course which aims at equipping clinicians and educators with a range of listening and spoken language strategies through play. Participants will have the opportunity to observe and discuss video examples of how play is used to develop spoken language in deaf children.

Who is it for?

This course if for Teachers of the Deaf, Speech and Language therapists, Communication Support Workers, Teachers & SENCOs

Learning objectives

  • By the end of the day, participants will be able to identify some of the more common play schema and feel equipped to  plan rehabilitation session accordingly
  • By the end of the day, participants will be able to identify behaviours that may indicate potential difficulties with Executive Function.


This course will be taking place at a central London location. Specific address tbc. 

Course leaders

This course will be led by Noel Kenely and Estelle Gerrett. Noel is a certified Auditory Verbal therapist and Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist. Estelle is a Teacher of the Deaf and certified Auditory Verbal therapist. 

Early bird ticket deal

Book your place before Friday 24 May and you can bring a colleague along for free. Simply purchase one full price ticket and select the second ticket option to claim the free ticket.


Atherton, F., & Nutbrown, C. (2016). Schematic pedagogy: supporting one child's learning at home and in a group. International Journal of Early Years Education24(1), 63-79.

Toub, T. S., Hassinger-Das, B., Nesbitt, K. T., Ilgaz, H., Weisberg, D. S., Hirsh-Pasek, K., & Dickinson, D. K. (2018). The language of play: Developing preschool vocabulary through play following shared book-reading. Early Childhood Research Quarterly45, 1-17.

Weisberg, D. S., Hirsh-Pasek, K., Golinkoff, R. M., Kittredge, A. K., & Klahr, D. (2016). Guided play: Principles and practices. Current Directions in Psychological Science25(3), 177-182.

Yogman, M., Garner, A., Hutchinson, J., Hirsh-Pasek, K., Golinkoff, R. M., & Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health. (2018). The power of play: A pediatric role in enhancing development in young children. Pediatrics142(3), e20182058.

Zosh, J. M., Verdine, B. N., Filipowicz, A., Golinkoff, R. M., Hirsh‐Pasek, K., & Newcombe, N. S. (2015). Talking shape: parental language with electronic versus traditional shape sorters. Mind, Brain, and Education9(3), 136-144.

Short course terms and conditions .PDF

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