The Wise Words materials have been created by Suzy Marshall, a certified practicing speech pathologist of more than 20 years experience. Suzy studied and then worked in London before moving to Sydney, Australia in 1980, where she continues to work in community health whilst running a busy private practice. She developed the Wise Words programs based on her extensive experience.
Suzy has been using Marion Blank’s framework of classroom discourse for many years. The Wise Words materials grew from a need for specific programs that could be complemented by the Blank Model. Suzy has designed programs which offer speech pathologists, parents and teachers new tools to address the needs of children with speech and language difficulties. The Blank Model provides a framework for adults to adjust their discourse so that the child learns from the interaction and can build upon this level of interaction.
The Wise Words Language Programs were developed over a number of years of working with children experiencing speech and language difficulties. They have been modified, refined and used successfully with many children attending speech therapy.
The Wise Words Screening Tool & The Wise Words Screening Advantage are based on the Blank’s Model of Classroom Language (Blank, Rose & Berlin 1978). These assessments offer teachers and clinicians screening tools which are quick and easy to administer. The pictures in the book ‘Spot Bakes a Cake’ provide the stimulus for the questions for the Screening Tool whilst coloured pictures are provided for the Screening Advantage. Younger children or children who become disengaged when they perceive that they are being tested, would suit the Screening Tool as they will be unaware that an assessment is taking place. Such a child will believe that he is simply sharing a book. A range of questions/instructions represent all four levels of Blank’s model. These simple assessments can be used to plan goals for children and will monitor a child’s progress over time.
The Wise Words Articulation Programs are a recent addition to the Wise Words product range. These programs have been designed to target sounds in an enjoyable and rewarding manner. These materials include voiced and voiceless ‘th’, ‘s’, ‘r’, l, the vowel sounds ‘ir’, ‘air ‘eh’ and minimal pair programs for ‘k’ vs ‘t’ and ‘ir’ vs ‘or’.
Wise Words Australia launched at the Speech Pathology Australia Conference in Darwin 2011 (and have been exhibitors a subsequent SPA Conferences) and was received with positive peer endorsement.