Cancelled -The challenges of supporting children’s language development in the early years

3rd December 2019 : 17:00 - 18:30

Category: Seminar

Speaker: Julie Dockrell, UCL

Location: Department of Education, Seminar Room K/L, Bruner Building C

Please note that this seminar has been cancelled


Seminar Abstract


Children need strong oracy skills to become successful learners. Yet many children enter school without the oral language skills which allow them to access the curriculum and become successful learners. In this presentation I review three studies which speak to the challenges of supporting language and communication in classroom settings. Study 1 reports a large scale survey of educational practitioners which demonstrated that professionals found it challenging to identify oral language behaviours which might indicate a difficulty in language and communication. By contrast they showed awareness of literacy and behaviour difficulties associated with language difficulties. They also highlighted the need for tools to help in the identification of speech and language problems in school-age children. In the second study I report on the development and use of the communication classrooms supporting tool. Results from studies using the tool highlighted strengths in the classroom language learning environment but limitations in language learning interactions. The final study describes the design and implementation of a universal targeted intervention for nursery classes. Combined these studies indicate that a strategic approach is needed to support education practitioners, enhance language learning environments and support children who are most at risk of language learning challenges.


About the speaker


Professor Julie Dockrell is a Professor of Psychology and Special Needs at UCL

Her research interests lie in developmental patterns and the impact of cognitive factors on children’s learning, interaction, and attainments. A central theme in her work has been the application of evidence-based research and the evaluation of interventions to support children’s learning in educational settings.


About the department of education


In 2019, the University of Oxford’s Department of Education celebrates the 100th year since the passing of a statute creating what was known in 1919 as the University Department for the Training of Teachers. To celebrate our centenary a year-long series of activities will be delivered to address some of the department’s top initiatives for 2019, answer some of the big questions facing education today and to reveal the advancements the department has made to the study of and research in the field of education. Join us as we mark our 100th year and discover more about our anniversary here.

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