24 June 2020
The latest research concerning children and young people's speech, language and communication includes significant new reports on the impact Covid - 19 has had on children, The effectiveness of early intervention delivered remotely, SEND in mainstream schools and, how to measure language in the first year of school.
This paper reports on the impact of a 7 week literacy intervention focusing on behaviours which would enhance interactions with their children during shared reading. The results showed improvements in the language of both mothers and children, both quantity and quality, including an increase in ‘rare-sophisticated’ words by the mothers.
The study indications that the complexity of the information being taught to children affects their eagerness to teach it to someone else but the manner it’s taught in didn’t have any effect. ‘This is good news for all the busy parents out there trying their best to homeschool their children at the moment – they’re learning all the time even when you don’t have time to sit down and properly teach them something, and they might even teach you a thing or two themselves!’
The report identified those groups of children likely to be most affected by the Covid-19 restrictions and those likely to fall behind in their education as a result. Including children living in poverty, with poor internet access and those living in poor housing. Linked to the report are local area profiles of child vulnerability mapping numbers of children in each LA living in families at risk because of mental health difficulties, substance abuse or domestic abuse.
This covers: raising parental awareness of engaging with young children through SLC; identifying any SLC issues early and providing appropriate support; providing further SLC training within the childcare workforce and reviewing policies and strategies. The consultation period is now finished and we await with interest the publication of the final version of the plan.
The Children’s Commissioner’s report We’re All in this Together was published in April 2020. The report identified those groups of children likely to be most affected by the Covid-19 restrictions and those likely to fall behind in their education as a result. Including children living in poverty, with poor internet access and those living in poor housing. Linked to the report are local area profiles of child vulnerability mapping numbers of children in each LA living in families at risk because of mental health difficulties, substance abuse or domestic abuse.
EIF has also produced a helpful video on Developing a Theory of Change as a first step towards evaluating an intervention.
The Education Endowment Fund also produced a rapid review in April entitled Best Evidence on supporting students to learn remotely Key considerations include: Teaching quality is more important than how lessons are delivered, ensuring access to technology is key, especially for disadvantaged pupils, peer interactions can provide motivation and improve learning outcomes, supporting pupils to work independently can improve learning outcomes, different approaches to remote learning suit different types of content and pupils.
The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists has produced guidance on teletherapy including Telehealth and Speech and Language Therapy a snap shot of the evidence.
The Education Endowment Fund report on SEND in Mainstream Schools was published in March. It’s 5 recommendations were: creating a positive and supporting environment; developing an holistic understanding of pupil’s needs; making sure all pupils have access to high quality teaching; complemented by carefully selected interventions and working effectively with TAs all include a number of references to SLCN and what works for CYP with SLCN.
In May the Public Accounts Committee published its report on Children with SEND reporting that Joint Ofsted and Care Quality Commission Inspections had found 47/94 LA areas have significant weaknesses in this area. Issues such as the high number of exclusions of pupils with SEND (44.9% of all exclusions) and wide disparities in gender; ethnic group and region identified. Its conclusion is that many of the 1.3 million children with SEND in England are not getting the support they need.
This study reports on the development of a short language measure based on evidence that direction‐following and a sentence‐recall tasks were found to show close agreement with larger language measures. The researchers concluded that SLaM ‘has excellent psychometric properties. It can be used to identify children who need further evaluation by a speech–language pathologist’.
Chadd, K. E., Kulkarni, A. A., Longhurst, L. M. Involving Individuals with Developmental Language Disorder and their Parents/Carers in Research Priority Setting. J. Vis. Exp. (160), e61267, doi:10.3791/61267 (2020).
A protocol for involving individuals presenting with developmental language disorder (DLD) (iDLD) and their parents/carers (iDLDPC) in a research priority setting exercise is presented. This protocol enables meaningful involvement of iDLD/iDLDPC in research priority setting and could be utilized for people with other kinds of speech, language or communication needs. Further research should evaluate the effectiveness of the protocol and whether it can be adapted for involvement of such populations in other research studies.
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