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The Balanced Literacy Approach course 2017

The Balanced Literacy Approach

Sally Clendon, PhD

This practical course will be held in:

Palmerston North on the 26th and 27th of October 2017.


Participants may choose to attend Day 1, Day 2, or both sessions. Session outlines are below.

To register please select the appropriate form at the end of this page e.g. school/organisation choose professional. Please indicate which sessions you would like to attend using the drop down menu.


Palmerston North – registrations are now closed

Thursday 26th and Friday 27th October 2017,  8.45 for 9:00am start to 3pm

At the Ministry of Education 1-3 Oxford St, Hokowhitu, Palmerston North 4410


Morning tea provided BYO lunch.

Cost: $120.00 for professionals per day ($200.00 for both days)

$50.00 for family members per day ($80.00 for both days)


Day 1 – Emerging Readers and Writers: Turning Caterpillars into Butterflies

Emergent literacy is the process that children move through from birth as they weave together knowledge about language and literacy (Dickinson & McCabe, 2001). This includes knowledge about vocabulary, sound awareness, print concepts, letter names, narrative structure and emergent writing (Van Kleek,1990). Knowledge in these areas develops in an integrated manner to provide children with a strong foundation that has been shown to be critical to later literacy learning success (Dickinson & McCabe, 2001).

All children are readers and writers. They are somewhere on the continuum of literacy development. Our job is to figure out where that is and to move them along as far as we can. This session will equip you with a toolbox of ideas and strategies for maximising communication and literacy learning for the children in your classroom. The butterfly is a symbol for change, freedom and joy. We need to facilitate change and development in children with complex communication needs so that they can reap the huge benefits that literacy brings.

This workshop will outline:

  • the key principles underlying the emergent literacy model
  • specific strategies for creating print-rich environments, facilitating storybook reading interactions, providing emergent writing opportunities, and building important skill areas such as print concepts, phonological awareness, and alphabet knowledge
  • software, apps, hardware and instructional programs available for supporting emergent literacy development

Day 2 – Comprehensive Literacy Instruction for ALL Learners

This workshop will describe the rationale and principles underlying a comprehensive literacy approach and how it can be applied to children with complex communication and learning needs. The Four Blocks Literacy approach (Cunningham & Hall) will be presented as a framework that ensures children are provided with daily opportunities to engage in four key areas of literacy learning:

  1. Language comprehension
  2. Word learning
  3. Self-directed reading
  4. Writing

All four areas are critical for children with disabilities to develop conventional reading and writing skills. Specific strategies and adaptations will be outlined. Multi-level activities, which can be implemented with all students in a classroom, will be highlighted, as will ideas for older students who are beginning readers.

These workshops will be highly relevant to teachers, speech-language therapists, occupational therapists, support staff, RTLBs, SENCOs, parents, and others who work with children with developmental disabilities (e.g., cerebral palsy, autism, down syndrome).




Sally Clendon is a speech-language therapist and a consultant in the area of literacy for children with significant disabilities particularly those with complex communication needs who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). She is a Research Affiliate of the Centre for Literacy and Disability Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA



Sally has presented nationally and internationally. She has also consulted with various groups including working with companies to develop literacy programmes for children with severe disabilities and working with AAC device manufacturers to develop the language systems within their AAC devices. Sally is currently working with schools to implement a comprehensive approach to literacy instruction with their students.


For a copy of the flyer, click here Palmerston North Balanced Literacy Course flyer Oct 2017

Family Registration Form



Professional Registration Form



Permanent link to this article: http://www.talklink.org.nz/index.php/2017/04/10/positive-communication-and-literacy-outcomes-for-all-children-course/


Skip to comment form

  1. Trudy Pankhurst DHH

    I would like to enrol for the course on the 23rd June in Dunedin. I am a resource teacher of the deaf working with a child who is using a talk link programme on his ipad .
    Trudy Pankhurst
    RTD Southland

    1. Paula Shennan
      Paula Shennan

      Hi Trudy, I have sent you an email which has bounced back.

      Please complete the registration form here to register attendance.



      1. Trudy Pankhurst DHH

        I need to let you know I will not arrive in Dunedin until 11.00 am
        Trudy Pankhurst

  2. Brigetta Smith

    To whom it may concern

    I have completed the registration forms but have not had confirmation that you have received it. Could you please confirm if I am able to attend as my workplace would like know.

    Brigetta Smith
    Willows ELC Cromwell

    1. Paula Shennan
      Paula Shennan

      Hi, Registration form received and completed for you and I can confirm your place at the course. An invoice will be sent out shortly.


  3. Rebecca Gemmill

    I would love to attend the Dunedin Course
    Is it still possible to register?

  4. Elaine Morrin

    Hi, Are there any plans to hold these day courses in Auckland? I am interested in them. Regards, Elaine Morrin

    1. Paula Shennan
      Paula Shennan

      Hi Elaine, unfortunately there will be no additional courses in 2017 or 2018, but we will collate the requests and will try and offer workshops in other areas in 2019.

      Thanks, Paula

  5. Claire Oram

    Hi Paula

    How are you? My colleague only signed me up for Day 1 of the course in Palmerston and I wanted to attend both days. Would you be able to adjust the invoice or do I need to complete a new form?



    1. Paula Shennan
      Paula Shennan

      Hi Claire, I will adjust it from this end for you
      Thanks, Paula

      1. Claire

        You’re a star, thanks!

  6. Donna

    Best PD EVER !!
    Don’t miss out.

  7. Lisa Bodley

    Hi, I have registered for the Palmerston North Workshop but haven’t received confirmation information.



  8. Anne Howison

    Do you still have space available on your Palmerston North workshop? Our principal is still deciding whether we can go, (2 ORS teachers) but we need to know if there is space available.


    1. Paula Shennan
      Paula Shennan

      Hi, there are still places available, please register on the registration form if you are able to attend.


  9. Louise Browne


    I’ve registered for the course in Palmerston North. Could you please confirm if I have a place on the course?

    Louise Browne

    1. Paula Shennan
      Paula Shennan

      Hi Louise, registration recieved and confirmed. An invoice will be sent soon. Thanks

  10. Michelle Candy


    Is it too late to register for the Palmerston North course / are there still places available? I am a TA working with a child using an AAC device.

  11. Sarah Roil

    HI Paula,
    Can you ring me please 06 8783506
    Sarah Roil (Kowhai Special School)

  12. Jo Dunn

    Hi, are there any plans to run this course again in 2018? Thanks

    1. Ann Smaill
      Ann Smaill

      Not at this stage due to the ISAAC conference in Australia. This may change later in the year.

  13. Zoe Kusabs

    Hi there,
    There are three professionals that would love to attend the course in Palmerston North but have noticed the registrations have closed for October.
    Are there any spaces?

    1. Paula Shennan
      Paula Shennan

      Hi Zoe
      Thanks for your message, this was for a course in 2017. at this stage we are not sure if we are able to offer this course in 2018 due to the ISAAC conference, but will keep you updated. Thanks, Paula

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