Singapore University of Social Sciences

Abecedarian Approach In Early Childhood Education Programmes (Synchronous E-Learning)

Abecedarian Approach In Early Childhood Education Programmes (Synchronous E-Learning) (CET233)

Applications Open: 01 October 2022

Applications Close: 20 October 2022

Next Available Intake: 21 November 2022

Course Types: Short Course

Language: English

Duration: 3 days

Fees: $1378

Area of Interest: Education

Schemes: To be confirmed

Funding: SkillsFuture

School/Department: SUSS Academy

Level: Intermediate
Duration: 3 days
Venue: Singapore University of Social Sciences and via ZOOM


The Abecedarian Approach is a set of robust teaching and learning strategies. It is not a curriculum, and it can be used within many existing curricula or even without a curriculum. The approach consists of these four elements :

  • Language Priority: a commitment to make every experience an opportunity for talking, listening, and learning a language
  • Enriched Caregiving: intentionally adding educational content to the daily, repeated routines of care

  • Conversational Reading: Individual and pair reading that emphasizes back and forth communication

  • LearningGames®: 200 experiences or games played between an adult and one or two children

The Abecedarian Approach can be used in child development centres, classrooms, family daycare, playgroups, and home visits and can provide a link between these service components.

The course emphasizes the importance of rich language interactions that are individualized, frequent and intentional throughout the day, that take place through all the common events of living and caregiving. The central focus is on developing oral language competencies that form a foundation for later literacy and reading from birth to age three. The AA programme includes playful interactions, enriched care, and stable and responsive relationships among children and adults.

*Please note that CET233 has been converted to a workshop (without credit units) from Mar 2021 onwards.

Who Should Attend

Preschool teachers, infant educarers, social workers and related social service providers who work directly with young children and families



  • Abecedarian Approach (AA) - Overview and Research

  • The four core elements of the Abecedarian Approach and the effect on child development and learning

  • Using Language Priority: the 3N strategy

  • Enriched Caregiving: Incorporating “connection” and “content” into daily caregiving routines

  • Conversational Reading: the 3S Strategy

  • Selecting Appropriate books for Conversational Reading

  • Introduction to LearningGames: the 3R Strategy

  • Selecting appropriate LearningGames activities to support and enhance child development and learning

  • Integrating AA into Early Childhood Programmes & Family Engagement

  • Planning and Record Keeping

Learning Outcomes

A. Knowledge and Understanding 

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • Understand the body of research that shows the effects of the Abecedarian Approach

  • Describe Language Priority techniques.

  • Describe how children’s active involvement in the reading process facilitates language development.

  • Choose appropriate books for Conversational Reading

  • Be familiar with specific LearningGames activities

  • Understand why something as simple as LearningGames contributes to later school readiness and success

  • Describe several methods for engaging families with the Abecedarian Approach.

  • Appreciate that it is important for adults to monitor their implementation of the Abecedarian Approach carefully

  • Believe that it is important and useful that professionals and families work together to support children’s development

B. Key Skills 

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate and use various Language Priority techniques in your daily interactions with children, parents, and caregivers.

  • Apply the 3N Strategy when interacting with children and teach this strategy to parents and caregivers.

  • Demonstrate connection and educational content in caregiving routines

  • Demonstrate Conversational Reading techniques

  • Promote emergent literacy skills through the use of Conversational Reading intentionally

  • Master and demonstrate LearningGames activities using the 3R Strategy.

  • Choose and use games that are appropriate for each child

  • Describe several methods for engaging families with the Abecedarian Approach.

  • Create a weekly planning sheet


 Day 1
09:00 – 10.15Course Overview
Session 1 – Research & Overview
10:15 – 10:30Break
10:30 – 12:00Session 2 – Language Priority
12:00 – 14:00Lunch
14:00 – 15:30Session 3 – Enriched Caregiving (Part 1)
15:30 – 15:45Break
15:45 – 17:00Session 3 – Enriched Caregiving (Part 2)
17:00End of Day 1
Day 2
09:00 – 10:15Session 4 – Conversational Reading (Part 1)
10:15 – 10:30Break
10:30 – 12:00Session 5 – Conversational Reading (Part 2)
12:00 – 14:00Lunch
14:00 – 15:30Session 6 – LearningGames (Part 1)
15:30 – 15:45Break
15:45 – 17:00Session 6 – LearningGames (Part 1)
17:00End of Day 2
Day 3
09:00 – 10:15Session 7 – LearningGames (Part 2)
10:15 – 10:30Break
10:30 – 12:00Session 8 – LearningGames (Part 3)
12:00 – 14:00Lunch
14:00 – 15:30Session 8 – LearningGames (Part 3)
15:30 – 15:45Break
15:45 – 17:00Session 9 – Family Engagement & Implementation
17:00End of Day 3 


  • Online assessment (MCQs and short answers) to be completed within 7 days after workshop.



  • A recognized Diploma or minimum of 3 years work experience in the early childhood and/or social services sector.


About the Trainer



Dr Chan is a former Associate Professor with the SR Nathan School of Human Development and Social Services at the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS). She holds a Doctor of Education (Ed.D) from Durham University (UK) and a Master of Science (MSc) in Early Childhood Education and Child Development from Wheelock College (USA) and has developed and taught courses on Comparative Approaches and Practices in ECE and Mentoring and Coaching in Educational Settings.

With over 35 years of experience in the early childhood education sector, Dr Chan is an experienced Consultant with a demonstrated history of working in management and leadership positions in the government and education sector.

She is a Certified Trainer in the Abecedarian Approach. She has worked closely with Professor Joseph Sparling, who is the Board Chair of the Abecedarian Education Foundation (international) and Kimberly Sparling Meunier to promote the adoption of the Abecedarian Approach in preschools and community playgroups through training and mentoring.

From 2016-2017, she held the appointment as Senior Consultant with the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) where she helped to design a community outreach programme : the KidSTART Group, a Pilot programme comprising weekly community-based playgroup sessions, for parents and caregivers of children ages 1-3 years. These sessions are based on the evidence-based Abecedarian Approach and seeks to build parenting skills in child development and parent-child bonding through a structured curricula comprising enriched language interactions, caregiving and LearningGames.


Application Procedures

Please submit the following documents to

  1. Coloured copy (back and front) of NRIC for Singaporeans and PRs, or "Employment"/"S" Pass for foreign applicant
  2. Application form

Course Fee

Course Fee for $1378

1 Mid-Career Enhanced Subsidy: Singaporeans aged 40 and above may enjoy subsidies up to 90% of the course fees.
2 Enhanced Training Support for SMEs: SME-sponsored employees (Singaporean Citizens and PRs) aged 21 and above may enjoy subsidies up to 90% of the course fees.

  • Participants are required to achieve at least 75% attendance and pass any prescribed examinations/assessments or submit any course/project work (if any) under the course requirement.
  • Participants are required to complete all surveys and feedbacks related to the course
  • The course fees are reviewed annually and may be revised. The University reserves the right to adjust the course fees without prior notice.
  • Singapore University of Social Sciences reserves the right to amend and/or revise the above schedule without prior notice

For clarification, please contact the SUSS Academy via the following:

Telephone: +65 6248 0263
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