Louise Paatsch, Ph.D., MEd, GDipSpecEd (HI), DipTeach(Prim)Keynote Speaker

    Deakin University (Australia)

    Louise Paatsch, Ph.D., is a professor at Deakin University in Australia. Her research areas include children’s language, pretend play, and digital play, with a strong focus on pragmatic and metapragmatic language use in children who are deaf and hard of hearing. https://www.deakin.edu.au/about-deakin/people/louise-paatsch

    Let’s Play and Talk: Linking Children’s Language and Pretend Play Abilities

    Play, while complex, is essential for children’s learning and development. This presentation will outline the key characteristics of pretend play and highlight the relationship between pretend play and language. Findings from several recent research studies will be presented including the outcomes from a qualitative study that implemented a professional learning program that supported educators to implement a play-based approach to foster the play and language abilities of young children who are deaf and hard of hearing (DHH). Results from a study investigating children’s language and play abilities at school entry will also be presented. Implications for teacher practices in supporting DHH children’s language abilities through play will be discussed.

    By the end of this session, learners will be able to:

    1. 1. Describe the link between pretend play and language.
    2. 2. Build understandings of the critical role of the educator in supporting children’s play and language.
    3. 3. Engage with current research into play and language and the outcomes from the implementation of a play-based approach in an educational setting for young DHH children.

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