Children’s Speech Development is Enhanced AKELC

We know that children learn the most by doing, so at Aga Khan Early Learning Centre (AKELC), they provide first-hand experiences as a basis for expanding knowledge and children’s speech development. They believe that growth and development happen best in a supportive, safe, orderly environment where expectations and plans are shared with children and parents.

Children learn from what adults do so they model the behaviour and explain what the expectations are that they want to encourage.  AKELC strive to show understanding and respect for each child and model the use of words to express needs and feelings.

How AKELC can help your child

The teachers help to facilitate learning by discussing with children what they see, hear, smell, taste, touch and feel, helping them to increase understanding, vocabulary and expressive language.

Through play, children re-enact experiences, try out different roles, express ideas, develop vocabulary, process information, widen their world view and relate to each other.

During play sessions, children need caring and supportive adults to help them verbalize their experiences and to find ways to more fully express their own ideas and feelings and to encourage them as they face new challenges.

For these reasons, it is NO surprise that many parents enrol their child at AKELC nursery due to concerns about their child’s speech and language development. In addition, they have many children referred to AKELC by their paediatrician or speech therapist.   It is often the case, that even after just one month of full-time nursery attendance, noticeable speech progress is observed. To support this, parents and teachers set goals and work together to help each child make progress during their time in our Nursery.

About the Curriculum

At Aga Khan Early Learning Centre, they follow the holistic Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and HighScope Curriculum where one of the key areas of learning is speech and language.  Each week the teachers purposefully develop a plan full of activities and strategies to help each individual child develop and progress at their own stage and rate of development.

Speech and language development

AKELC have succeeded in enhancing children’s speech and language development due to:

  • Training teachers to plan purposeful and specific age-appropriate language activities, objectives and vocabulary
  • Teachers using self-talk and parallel talk to describe their own processes and the child’s activities to model language and develop vocabulary
  • Providing opportunities for children to interact, negotiate and talk with their peers and adults
  • Involving children in talking about what they are doing, how they are feeling, and what they are needing
  • Using storytelling to broaden children’s vocabulary, rhyming and alliteration
  • Having musical experiences to encourage children to learn words and actions to songs
  • Having small group-focused sessions to involve children in gaining vocabulary, learning concepts and understanding the world
  • Scheduling ‘circle time’ group activities where children share daily news, help take attendance, sing favourite songs, listen to stories and discuss topics of interest
  • Participating in Show and Tell which gives children an opportunity to talk about things that are important to them and builds their confidence to stand up in front of a group
  • Utilizing weekend journals to provide one on one time to talk about children’s home experiences
  • Utilizing the Highscope model of children planning their play experience, following through on the plan and then reviewing with the group about what was done (Plan-do-Review).
  • Utilizing messy or sensory play to provide opportunities to enhance vocabulary and understanding as the children describe new experiences
  • Providing family-style meals where children and teachers sit together to socialize, discuss the food and talk about what they are tasting.
  • Taking walks and field trips to add context, vocabulary and new experiences as a follow up to current learning
  • Providing time away from the TV, iPad, and smartphones to allow children to process information more slowly,  build attention skills and build speaking skills
  • Asking children questions, encouraging responses and involving them in storytelling and planning their play
  • Involving parents in developmental screenings to highlight and discuss speech and language development

Their trained teachers set up a bi-lingual language-rich environment, encourage and model speech and the children benefit from the focused time and attention. The more the teachers interact with the children and explain the observations they make together with the more quickly the children learn and articulate what they know.   They highly recommend that all children be enrolled in a high-quality nursery to benefit from the experiences which will support, encourage and develop speech.


Contact AKELC for more information and a tour of the facilities