Building Children's Speech and Language Skills

About Us

Speech & Language Therapists

Language Builders provides a variety of parent and teacher education programs, as well as speech and language therapy services, to infants, toddlers and pre-school age children as well as older children with language delays. With the philosophy that parents and early childhood educators are the most important people in a child’s life, Language Builders educates them to be effective facilitators of children’s language development. Using research-based programs from The Hanen Centre in Canada, licensed speech-language pathologists at Language Builders teach parents and early childhood educator’s practical and powerful strategies to help children communicate and interact during everyday routines and activities. Research shows it is through familiar and frequent interactions that children’s communication skills grow, and the results we’ve seen have often shown surprising, accelerated growth in relatively short periods of time.

Meet the Language Builders Therapists

Katie Lee, M.A. CCC-SLP; Hanen-Certified Speech-Language Pathologist, Program Director:

The highlight of my professional career is leading Hanen programs that empower parents and early childhood educators to be the most effective possible facilitators of their children’s language development. When the most important adults in a child’s life learn to fine-tune their responsiveness to children’s communication attempts, language skills can really take off. I am passionate about leading evidence-based Hanen programs such as It Takes Two to Talk, More Than Words and Teacher Talk because I have seen the amazing growth that takes place when parents and teachers use each moment of the day as an opportunity for children to learn language.

Jean Bramer M.A. CCC-SLP; Hanen-Certified Speech-Language Pathologist:

With over 30 years’ experience as an early childhood educator and speech pathologist, I am proud to be working with Language Builders teaching Hanen classes to the families and teachers of young children. Training the parents and teachers to foster the interactions and communication of young children throughout each and every day is transformative for the children’s speech and language and their futures. I will continue to provide Hanen training because I believe it is the most effective intervention for improving the communication of young children.

Ellen Nightingale, M.A. CCC-SLP; Hanen-Certified Speech-Language Pathologist:

Becoming Hanen certified in 2005 completely revolutionized my practice working with families in Early Intervention. I witnessed parents in my Hanen programs become empowered by the communication strategies and video coaching sessions, and seeing their children's communication skills improve significantly in a short amount of time. I have taught both It Takes Two to Talk and More than Words classes through the Children's Specialized Hospital Early Intervention Program, and became certified to teach Learning Language and Loving It to daycare providers in 2009. I led several 1-day Teacher Talk Trainings at the state level in New Jersey for Early Intervention providers. When I moved to this area last year, I was thrilled to find a team of Hanen-certified therapists at Language Builders who shared a similar commitment and vision to this work. Becoming Hanen certified led me to subsequent coaching certification where I also support moms find bliss in their busy days while having a small private practice based in Ojai. More information is available at:

Marianne Szijj M.S. CCC-SLP; Hanen-Certified Speech-Language Pathologist:

As a Hanen-certified Speech-Language Pathologist, I appreciate that Hanen bases their programs and strategies on what current research finds to be the most effective ways to promote language development in infants and toddlers. As a parent, I appreciate that Hanen recognizes that it is not the specialists, but the parents, who are the experts on their children. I am continually astounded by the amount of progress the children make in the course of the program and how empowered the parents feel once they have more ideas and tools to promote their child’s communication during daily routines at home. Leading Hanen programs is far and away the most rewarding thing I have done since I started my profession ten years ago.

Teresa Toscano M.S. CCC-SLP; Hanen-Certified Speech-Language Pathologist:

A few years ago, as an undergraduate, I was introduced to Hanen’s It Takes Two to Talk program. I loved the practicality of the series because of how much sense it made to provide training to parents as they are their children’s first teachers. As a Hanen-certified speech-language pathologist, it is a pleasure to work with English and Spanish speaking families in helping their children’s communication flourish. Seeing the transformation in parents as they uncover their potential to promote language learning throughout their day is exciting and rewarding. Being able to do this alongside wonderfully experienced and talented colleagues is truly a blessing.