The Better Communication Research Programme started in January 2010 to address some of the issues raised by the Bercow Review of services to children with Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) (1). Funded by the UK Government's Department for Education for three years, the programme houses five separate but interrelated research projects entitled in turn "the Effectiveness of intervention"; "Academic progress of children with SLCN"; " Economic effectiveness", "Prospective study of children with SLI and autism across key transition points" and "Parental preferred outcomes". The programme is led by an experienced team of researchers in the field from speech and language therapy Professors Law (Newcastle University) and Roulstone (University of the West of England) and from educational psychology Professors Lindsay (University of Warwick) and Dockrell (Institute of Education, University of London), and supported by economists, Professors Vignoles (Institute of Education) and Beecham (London School of Economics ) and psychologists Drs Strand (University of Warwick), Bakapoulou (University of Warwick) Zeng (Newcastle University) and Professor Tony Charman (Institute of Education). This presentation will summarise progress in the different projects and describe how the research team will be drawing the themes together as the programme progresses.
(1) Bercow, J. (2008). The Bercow Report: A review of services for children and young people (0-19) with speech, language and communication needs. Nottingham: DCSF. http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/bercowreview
During the past two decades, there has been a move from single deficit models of dyslexia to multiple-risk models in which the diagnosis of dyslexia is conceptualised as underpinned by dimensional impairments in more than one cognitive domain. The present paper considers findings from longitudinal studies of children at high-risk of dyslexia either because of preschool language impairments or family risk. With such studies as a backdrop, the paper will review recent evidence-based interventions that foster literacy skills. For more information http://www.york.ac.uk/psychology/research/groups/crl/
The Early Language In Victoria study (ELVS) is a prospective, longitudinal study of a community cohort of children growing up in Melbourne Australia. Concurrent measures of communication skill development, vocabulary and language development were obtained across the first 4-5 years of life to investigate how Language Impairment (LI) evolved. 1900 8-10 month old infants were recruited at baseline and 1600 completed face to face assessment of language skills at 4 years of age. This presentation will describe (i) early trajectories of children determined to have LI at 4 years, (ii) factors predicting Late Talking at 2 years and LI at 4 years of age and (iii) co-existing conditions. In addition, service utilization patterns will be described for children determined to have communication impairment at 4 years of age. The implications of these findings for the early identification of children at risk of language delay will be discussed.
Dynamic assessment has been proposed as a non-biased method for determining language differences vs. language impairment. To date there is limited information on the effects of dynamic assessment of language in children in the process of learning English as a second language. This paper reports on the dynamic assessment results from a large-scale study funded by the National Institutes of Health to identify markers of bilingual language impairment in Spanish-English bilinguals. As part of this larger study, the investigators used dynamic assessment when children to explore whether this method conducted in English only yielded patterns that indicated language ability. Results focusing on pre-posttest changes in narrative performance and modifiability will be presented. Implications for use of dynamic assessment with children in the process of learning a second language will be discussed.