SHS Community Engagement

Impacting Elementary School Students Through Word Transformers Program

The Department of Speech and Hearing Science is making an impact on the literacy development of elementary school students through its Word Transformers program. With a grant from the University of Illinois Office of Public Engagement, the program was developed by Patty Cetin, a member of the clinical faculty in Speech-Language Pathology, former doctoral student Mary Kubalanza, who is now an assistant professor of Communication Disorders at California State University, Los Angeles, and Associate Professor Cynthia Johnson.
The purpose of the program is to promote children’s understanding that new words can be derived from base words by adding prefixes and suffixes, as in preheat from heat, untie from tie, and knowing, knowledge, knowledgeable, and unknowingly from know. The program also seeks to advance the development of vocabulary and reading skills.
Word Transformers has been offered as an after-school program at Garden Hills Elementary School in Champaign, Illinois, during the spring and fall semesters of 2015. Recently, Ms. Cetin and Dr. Johnson presented the program to the Urbana, Illinois public-school speech-language pathologists in a workshop held at Leal Elementary School. On April 21 at 12:00 pm, they will give a presentation on the program during the University of Illinois Spring 2016 Public Engagement Colloquia. The event takes place in the Illini Union, Illini Room B.
For more information about the Word Transformers program and SHS outreach efforts, see the recent story in AHS E-News.

prefix root word suffix graphic
instructor writing on whiteboard