Supporting Spoken Language Development in Schools
Language and communication are fundamental for all aspects of children’s non-physical development. It contributes to their ability to manage emotions and communicate feelings, to establish and maintain relationships, to think symbolically, and to learn to read and write.
While the majority of young children acquire language effortlessly, a significant minority do not. The UK prevalence rate for early language difficulties is between 5% and 8% of all children, and over 20% for those growing up in low-income households. The high prevalence among disadvantaged children is thought to contribute to the achievement gap that exists by the time children enter school and continues until they leave.
Language and communication skills are essential for school education and achievement, and school professionals have an important role to play in supporting children’s language and communication skills.
How Aspen Psychology Services Can Help
APS can support school professionals to develop their practice in this respect through:
1. TRAINING TO ENHANCE PRACTITIONER DEVELOPMENT
Training individual practitioners or small teams of practitioners from a primary school on how to create communication-supporting classrooms as well as approaches and strategies that can be used in primary school settings to support the development of language and communication skills of all children aged 4-11 years. This academic year, we are offering the following online training event:
Creating Communication-Supporting Classrooms, 15.06.21, 9:30-12:30 UK, £70.
Facilitator: Dr Ioanna Bakopoulou
For primary school professionals who want to increase their knowledge of the approaches and strategies that can be used in primary school settings to support the development of language and communication skills of all children aged 4-11 years. The session will be delivered by Dr. Ioanna Bakopoulou, an APS Associate Educational Psychologist with research expertise in the area of language development and experience of supporting schools to develop their provision in this respect. More information is available in the flyer, below:
To access the workshop (delivered on the Zoom platform), you will need a connection speed of at least 1.5mbps. You can test your connection speed at www.speedtest.net.
2. TAILORED CONSULTATION/SYSTEMIC-LEVEL WORK
Collaborative consultancy to improve a school’s language and communication provision tailored to your school’s needs and priorities. Work can include, for example:
- Evidence-informed advice on creating communication-supporting classroom environments.
- Observation of your classroom environments to identify strengths and areas for development in relation to the development of spoken language.
- Equipping practitioners with approaches and strategies that can be used in their class to support the development of language and communication skills.
- Support on how best to identify language needs.
- Tailored in-house training.
- Consultancy can be offered to key staff members in a particular year group, Key Stage (Early Years, Key Stage 1 or Key Stage 2) or as a whole school.
Bristol Conversations in Education: Whole-School Universal Language Interventions as a Means of Recovering from the COVID-19 Pandemic
If you're interested in hearing about the importance of focusing on children's language development as we recover from Covid-19, you may wish to listen to the recording of the 'Bristol Conversations in Education' session delivered by Dr Ioanna Bakopoulou for Bristol University on Wednesday 24th March 2021. Click here to visit the University's webpage and watch the recording.