Oral Language Intervention programme proven to improve vocabulary, grammar and listening skills to benefit schools

A newly announced partnership between the Nuffield Foundation and Oxford University Press will enable schools to benefit from an intervention led by Charles Hulme (Department of Education) and Maggie Snowling (St John’s College), which has proven to improve children’s oral language skills and support reading comprehension.

The Nuffield Early Language Intervention is a 20-week programme for children in their first year of primary school who show weakness in their spoken language skills and who are at risk of experiencing difficulty with reading. An initial trial showed that improving children’s oral language skills at a young age improved reading development and wider educational outcomes. This new effectiveness trial, which has received funding from the Education Endowment Foundation will test the Reception programme in 200 schools and confirm whether an up-scaled version can produce similar results.

Professor Hulme holds the Chair of Psychology and Education in the Department of Education. He has broad research interests in reading, language and memory processes and their development and is an expert on randomized controlled trials in Education. He has broad research interests in reading, language and memory processes and their development and is an expert on randomized controlled trials in Education.  His work on reading development has made important contributions to understanding the role of phonological skills in learning to read.  He has also explored the role of wider language skills (particularly vocabulary knowledge and grammatical skills) as influences on the development of reading comprehension.

The intervention’s full author team includes Maggie Snowling CBE, President of St John’s College, Oxford, Charles Hulme FBA, Professor of Psychology and Education at the University of Oxford, Claudine Bowyer-Crane, Senior Lecturer, Psychology in Education, University of York and Silke Fricke, Senior Lecturer, Human Communication Sciences, University of Sheffield.

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