ORAL LANGUAGE INTERVENTION
The Oral Language Intervention (OLI) program is an evidence-based project providing intensive intervention from the foundation years’ to improve student language and literacy, leading to more effective learning and engagement.
We know early intervention in oral language development is key to changing educational outcomes of students, improving their readiness for learning and to take advantage of the opportunities education will afford them. OLI aims to change the trajectory of young people’s lives and their ability to find and maintain meaningful employment later in life.
In its third year, the program is currently delivered in three Mooroopna public primary schools and two kindergartens where we aim to increase student literacy skills and empower teachers to embed evidence-based literacy programs on an ongoing basis.
Mooroopna is identified with high rates of disadvantage and poor rates of school readiness. In the 2018 Australian Early Development Census (AEDC), Mooroopna ranked lowest of all Greater Shepparton communities in the ‘vulnerable in one or more domains’ and two or more domains’ categories. In 2020, a Foundation class of 23 students was assessed by a Speech Pathologist and 19 were identified as needing intensive speech therapy.
OLI Stage 2 in 2021 saw an increase in the number of students achieving scores within the average range on all screening measures. In the narrative skills, the students were able to double their scores.
Stage 3 in 2022 is being delivered by a full-time and part-time Speech Pathologist, with the aid of fourth-year Speech Pathologist students undertaking eight week placements. An intended consequence of the program is to attract qualified speech therapists to Greater Shepparton by providing an immersive experience.
Student assessments in 2021 comparing Foundation students in the OLI program with students from Grade 1 and 2, showed a trend of Foundation students outperforming their older counterparts in literacy skills.
On average, the OLI students are on a higher trajectory in comparison with those that did not receive this support.
Read the OLI End Of Year Report HERE * the data was collected during remote learning.
We thank our valued partner funders, the Upotipotpon Foundation and Margaret Attwood Trust for their support in Stage 3.
“For some of our Foundation kids, the program’s given them lots of oral language skills they didn’t have when they started school – particularly general vocabulary. This has given them confidence. For me the most significant change that has occurred because of the program is that we are now able to target all the Foundation children… we are catching them all as they’re coming to school, so there will now be no unknown quantities (children) hitting grade 1, and there shouldn’t be anyone reaching grade 3, about whom we say, ‘Hey, hang on a minute – why was this child not learning before this point?’ – speech pathologist
“A few little boys, who started out thinking, ‘This is too hard! I’ve tapped out already!’, we now see realising, ‘Hey, I can actually read!” – speech pathologist
“We’re teaching these kids in a way where they actually can learn how to read. For some, it is still only a very simple text, but they now feel confident, knowing: ‘I can read things and I can write words down, and I can be part of the class’.” – speech pathologist
* The Most Significant Change stories