Enhancing Language Skills for Socially Disadvantaged Children

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Category: News

Senior Researcher Sandra Mathers has been successful in securing joint funding for a ground-breaking project that aims to enhance socially disadvantaged children’s language skills. The project will be jointly conducted with Professor Julie Dockrell (UCL Institute of Education) and Professor James Law (Newcastle University).

Social disadvantage is closely associated with language delay and language delay impacts on social emotional and behavioural development and the ability to access the curriculum. Four-year-olds from the poorest 30 per cent of neighbourhoods are 11% less likely than their peers to reach expected levels in language and communication and 9% less likely to reach the expected level in social and emotional development.

Awarded by the Nuffield Foundation, ‘Empowering staff to enhance oral language in early years’ will build on the evidence-based Talking Time intervention, enhancing it to include professional development for teachers and their teams. The enhanced programme will support practitioners’ understanding and practice in relation to supporting young children’s oral language development. Taking place in the south east and north east of England, the project will begin in May 2019 and run until the end of 2020.

For more information: www.education.ox.ac.uk/research/empowering-staff-to-enhance-oral-language-in-the-early-years/