A research project to understand what improves language and social outcomes for children in nursery classes.
The project aims to support children’s oral language in nursery classes. Children’s oral language skills are important for developing friendships and learning in school. These early language skills support learning in primary schools, particularly reading and writing abilities.
We are evaluating the impact of 'Talking Time', a package of activities and games that supports teachers to talk with children to enhance speaking and listening. The results of this research will make an important contribution to understanding what works in improving language and social outcomes for children in the nursery classes.
Across London and the North East of England, schools in areas of social disadvantage are joining us in the study.
- Evaluate whether "Talking Time" improves children’s oral language skills.
- Contribute to the enhancement of professionals’ knowledge and understanding of language skills.
- Understand how to improve the language-learning environment for children at school entry.
- What are we doing?
- Pre-test assessment of language and social development of all children - we will be observing the classroom language learning environment and assessing children.
- Half the schools will receive the "Talking Time" intervention with expert guidance - the other schools will continue with their current practice.
- Schools implement intervention.
- Post-test assessment of language and social development of all children - we will return to the schools to observe the language learning environment and track the children’s progress.
- Preliminary findings released.
- Professor Julie Dockrell (IOE) – Principal Investigator
- Professor James Law (University of Newcastle) – Co-Investigator
- Dr Sandra Mathers (University of Oxford) – Co-Investigator
- Dr Jenna Charlton (University of Newcastle) - Research Associate
- Dr Claire Forrest (IOE) – Research Associate
- Keeley Dobinson (IOE) – Research Assistant
- Useful links
Resources for practitioners
- The Communication Trust
- What Works - database of interventions and training
- The Communication Supporting Classroom Observation Tool (CsCot)
Resources for parents
- Capturing communication supporting classrooms: The development of a tool and feasibility study
- Early Language Development: Needs, provision and intervention for pre-school children from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds
- Improving Quality in the Early Years: A Comparison of Perspectives and Measures
- Supporting early oral language skills for English language learners in inner city preschool provision
- Empowering staff to enhance oral language in the early years: Cluster randomised trial
- Screening for Language Difficulties in Disadvantaged Populations on Entry to Early Years Education: Challenges and Opportunities
- Talking With Your Children: Activities For Parents to Help Nursery Children's Speaking and Listening Skills
Oral language in socially disadvantaged settings (Mediacentral video). Presentation by Dr Claire Forrest