Play to Narrative Development - 5th-6th January 2018


Seminar Program

Dr. Westby is an internationally-renowned expert on play and the role of stories in language, social-emotional development, and academic sucess in school. She has won numerous awards from ASHA and the University of Iowa, Department of Speech Pathology. This seminar will be an opportunity for participants to benefit from her wealth of experience.

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Speaker: Dr Carol Westby

Date: Friday 5th January 2018 (9am - 12.30pm)

Play is often viewed as what children do when they have nothing better to do. Yet it is through play that infants, toddlers, and young children develop and demonstrate their understanding of the world – an understanding of the interrelationships among people, objects and events. With the emphasis on academic skills for young children, opportunities for children to engage is play are being eliminated. Yet children's play experiences promote development of cognitive, language, and social-emotional skills that underlie comprehension and self-regulation of behavior essential for learning. In this seminar, learn how play develops in children from 9 months of age to 6 years of age, how to evaluate children’s play skills, and the reasons for promoting play in the education of young children.

You will learn to:

  • Describe the development and interrelationships of: cognition, play, language, social-emotional skills and literacy
  • Evaluate the play/language skills of children from 8 months to 6 years of age
  • Justify the use of play in education.

Speaker: Dr Carol Westby

Date:Saturday 6th January 2018 (9am - 5pm)

Because of the need to read and comprehend fictional narratives in school, considerable attention has been given to developing children’s ability to comprehend and produce fictional narratives. Less attention, however, has been given to developing children’s and adolescents’ abilities to produce personal narratives – either narratives of single events or integrated life stories that they tell about a span of related events that occurred over time or their entire lives. The ability to tell personal narratives is critical if persons are to participate successfully in social situations. Stories are the basis of good conversations. The ability to generate a coherent, integrated life story also relates to an individual’s sense of self identify and self-determination that comes from reflecting on how one’s own characteristics, in the generation of a life story, can lead to setting goals for how the future will unfold. A coherent life story can lead to making informed choices, learning to effectively solve problems, and taking control and responsibility for one's life. Children with a variety of language, learning, or behavioral problems exhibit difficulty producing coherent personal narratives.

In this seminar, Dr. Westby will describe the roles of autobiographical memory, personal narratives, fictional narratives, and life stories in social interactions, self-regulation, and academic performance. A variety of assessment tools for documenting development of these different types of narratives in children from preschool through adolescence will be explained and demonstrated. Interventions using fictional stories and biographies to develop personal narratives and life stories will be described and demonstrated through videos of students. The inventions include strategies for: reminiscing that promotes autobiographical memory; developing vocabulary for mental state/emotion words and the syntactic patterns needed to express relationships between events and mental states/emotions; identifying how settings influence characters and events in stories; identifying and building narrative plots; explaining how physical and psychological attributes characters in stories affect their nature and behaviors; and supporting students in making narrative inferences.

You will learn to:

  • Explain the importance of fictional, personal event, and life stories in social-emotional development, sense of identity, and self-regulation for social and academic success
  • Assess fictional, personal event, and life story narratives in children and adolescents
  • Build the cognitive, social-emotional, and linguistic foundations for personal and fictional narratives
  • Implement strategies using fictional stories and biographies to develop children’s and adolescents’ personal narratives and life stores

Who should attend

Teachers/Allied Educators from mainstream and special needs schools, Speech-language therapists, Occupational therapists, Autism specialists, Psychologists, and Counselors.

Population to be discussed

DAY 1 - 9 months to 6 years. DAY 2 - Preschool to Adolescence.

Speaker Profile

Dr Carol Westby, SLP, PhD. Dr. Westby is a consultant for Bilingual Multicultural Services, Inc. (BMSI) in Albuquerque, NM and holds an affiliate position in Communication Disorders at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. She is a fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), has received the Honors of ASHA, and holds Specialty Recognition in Child Language. She received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Iowa’s Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, and the ASHA Award for Contributions to Multicultural Affairs. Dr. Westby is an internationally-renowned expert on play assessment and development, the role of stories in language and social-emotional development, and the relationships between language and academic and social success in school. She is the developer of the Westby Playscale, which is widely used in the United States and other countries to evaluate the language, cognitive, and social emotional skills in children between 9 months and 6 years. She is currently engaged in clinical activities to document the developmental stages of narratives of personal experiences in preschool and elementary school children and to promote the emergence and development of life stories in adolescents as a way to promote social-emotional skills and self-regulation.

Dr. Westby has published and presented nationally and internationally on play, language-literacy relationships, narrative/expository development and facilitation, theory of mind, assessment and facilitation of written language, metacognition/executive function, and issues in assessment and intervention with culturally/linguistically diverse populations. She has a BA in English from Geneva College and an MA and PhD in speech pathology from the University of Iowa.

Seminar Details

Date: 5 - 6 January 2018

Time: Day 1 - 9am-12.30pm, Day 2 - 9am-5pm (registration from 8.30am on both days)

Venue: C&C Training Room, 2985 Jalan Bukit Merah, #02-2a SMF Building, Singapore 159457