School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

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OBE for services to Speech and Language Therapy Professor James Law

Professor of Speech and Language Sciences, James Law has been awarded an OBE.

Professor Law leads a European research network looking at how intervention can improve children’s oral language skills. 

Cost Action is a four-year project, which began in December 2014, designed to enhance children's oral language skills by bringing key people together to focus on interventions for children with difficulties learning their first language.

Professor Law also recently helped carry out the biggest review of speech and language support for children in the UK as one of the four academics who led the three-year Better Communication Research Programme.

The £1.5m project arose from the Bercow Review of Services for Children with Speech, Language and Communication Needs.

It found many children’s needs are misidentified and that early intervention is important.

Professor Law played an important role in addressing concerns that 1.5m children will reach the age of 11 unable to ‘read well’ by 2025, unless urgent action is taken to tackle the reading crisis facing Britain’s pupils.

This worrying situation prompted leading charities, teachers, parents and businesses to form a coalition - Read On. Get On. - a national mission to support parents and teachers. 

As part of the research, Save the Children commissioned Professor Law and statistician Tom King, of Newcastle University, to carry out analysis of the UK’s Millennium Cohort Study of 18,000 children born in 2000 and assessed at regular intervals.

This report showed that reading to and with children matters for both mothers and fathers, but the impact of a father’s reading – particularly to children after they have started school – appears even greater.

This story originally appeared in a Press Office article, which is available to read, here:

James Law
Professor James Law

published on: 12 June 2018