What are speech and language groups?

Speech and language communities/groups are organized to help help children follow certain linguistic norms in a real life setting. In speech and language groups, children are encouraged to use specific language skills through communicating with each other.


Speech and language therapy services are defined according to an individual’s needs, goals and priorities. These services are offered both in a one-to-one (1:1) setting, as well as in a group setting, based upon the individual’s unique needs.

Why speech and language groups?

Being a part of speech skills and language groups is one of the best ways to help children improve their social skills. A speech skills training group allows children to practice and learn new skills with their peers, going well beyond a theoretical discussion on social behaviours. These groups help children learn new things by observing others in a realistic setting, responding to real life situations.

Speech and language groups at Stepping Stones

Speech and language groups generally are 6-8 weeks in length, with the majority of the groups lasting for 8 weeks. The Hanen Parent Program is a 13-week program. For many of the groups, 8 weeks will be an average length of time as it consists of an ideal number of sessions in order for the children to learn the routine, and recognize their peers and to make progress towards their goals. Group sessions will range in length from 45 – 90 minutes, with the majority of the group sessions lasting 60 minutes in duration.


There are many factors that help to determine the length of time for the group, such as the developmental level and attention span of the children and if there is a separate parent education component. For groups that have a separate parent component, the groups generally are longer in duration in order to allow information to be disseminated to the families and time for parents to share.


When a parent education component is included, depending on the number of children, these group sessions take place across two therapists. One therapist is assigned to the parent education component and the other therapist facilitates the group with the children. For other groups, such as the Hanen Early Language Program, these consist of a combination of parent-only sessions and individual sessions, with each child and parents.


The various group categories and goal areas consist of:

  • Phonology

  • Expressive Language/Grammatical Forms/Sentence Structures

  • Early Language & Concepts

  • Expressive Vocabulary & Play

  • Listening & Attention

  • Hanen Early Language Program for Parents ("It Takes Two to Talk")