Kindergarten Oral Language

YMCA WA has partnered with WACHS Great Southern and Southern Inland Health Initiative Primary Health to implement a whole class Oral Language Program in Kindergartens and pre-primary schools in Borden, Nyabing, Pingrup, Ongerup, Gnowangerup, Tambellup, Kojonup, Broomehill, Katanning, Braeside, St Bernard’s, St Patricks and Woodanilling.

Language-learning can be a life-long journey, but the bulk of that journey takes place in our earliest years. In the first five years of life, when brain development is most rapid, children are more open to learning and more receptive to enriching experiences than they ever will be.

Early language learning during early school years is essential in assisting children to reach their full potential. In addition to supporting the transition to literacy, developing sufficient oral language skills is central to children achieving positive psychosocial outcomes. The Kindergarten Oral Language Program focusses on achieving conventional oral language and social development.

KOLP speech pathologists work with teachers towards ensuring that children have sound oral language skills to ensure they can be competent in reading, writing and spelling.

What is KOLP?

KOLP aims to improve the oral language skills of kindergarten children by providing targeted, goal based interventions. The KOLP has been providing population wide intervention aimed at improving the oral language skills of kindergarten students within the Central Great Southern over the past two years, with highly successful results – all students who took part showed positive change. The program also develops the skills of early childhood teachers to build capacity within schools and is an effective way to help children with mild to moderate language delay whose families do not have access to mainstream services.

YMCA employs a Speech Therapist and Therapy Assistant who form part of an integrated team to deliver the program to Kindergarten children across the Central Great Southern. The program involves school teachers, education assistants and parents to create an integrated support network for children who have been identified with mild to moderate language delays.

What outcomes does it achieve for children?

The Kindergarten Oral Language Program has seen tremendous success in its pilot phase with increased intervention and support provided to children, improved participation by clients and delivery of successful skill development games following a group therapy model.

In practice

First term of KOLP focuses on collecting initial data on the students’ skill level on entry to kindergarten as well as training of teachers and education assistants by the speech pathologists. The program activities run through second and third term until the middle of fourth term. At the end of fourth term data is collected to measure the students’ progress and feedback provided to the school to assist with transition into pre-primary

To find out more contact Amber Lee our Family Support Manager at