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Evaluating the Effectiveness of an Early Years Language Intervention

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Research into the long‐term effects of language delay reflects an increasing concern that many children's needs are not being met by current early years educational practice. This paper reports on a two‐part intervention designed to improve language skills within a nursery setting. In the first part of the intervention, a directly taught small group was found to be effective in improving language skills in children with language delay. However, in the second part of the intervention, creation of a “language rich” nursery environment was not fully implemented by nursery staff. A baseline assessment of all the nursery children revealed that alongside the high incidence of language delay in the nursery population there was also a high incidence of delay in non‐verbal reasoning skills as assessed by a single sub‐test from the British Ability Scales II Early Years. The findings raise the question: how can educational psychologists and speech and language therapists work together with teaching staff to create a “language rich” environment in the early years that will address the needs of all children?
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Barking and Dagenham Educational Psychology Service, UK

Publication date: September 1, 2005

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