This morning, the BBC reports what we at Elklan and our speech and language therapy and education colleagues have known for years that delayed speech and language development can have a long-term effect on learning.
That is why Elklan training has been addressing this urgent issue through offering accredited training to early years and education staff for the past 20 years and we are proud to have been part of many initiatives including NELI, which were funded by Dept of Education.
Practitioners receiving Elklan Speech and Language Support for 3-5s training
The latest report, issued by the Education Endowment Fund (EEF), provides growing evidence that the past year of lockdowns has had an impact on young children's language skills.
The report published today on the BBC website states that, ‘Data from 50,000 pupils have shown an increased number of four- and five-year-olds needing help with language. Evidence shows poor speech development can have long-term effects on learning.
The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) research suggests the measures taken to combat the pandemic have deprived the youngest children of social contact and experiences essential for increasing vocabulary. Of 58 primary schools surveyed across England:
- 76% said pupils starting school in September 2020 needed more support with communication than in previous years
- 96% they were concerned about pupils' speech-and-language development.
- 56% of parents were concerned about their child starting school following the lockdown in the spring and summer.’
The report mentions the Nuffield Early Language Intervention as an effective tool to support children’s oracy, Elklan Training is proud to have contributed their expertise in developing and delivering the initial face to face training for the NELI programme on which this report is based and to the current e-learning. We are also part of the feedback team which supports those completing the online training.
Elklan is also providing all the accredited training materials for the current Dept of Education funded Early Years Professional Development programme (EYPDP) and through our Elklan tutors the project, which is to ensure over 1,500 achieve Communication Friendly status, is being rolled out across 51 LA’s in England.
Elklan’s own OCN London accredited training course, ‘Speech and Language Support for 0-3s’ was used in Talking Matters, again funded by the Department for Education, developed to improve practitioners’ knowledge and confidence, and to improve outcomes in children’s speech, language and communication.
This was independently evaluated by The Department of Human Communication Sciences at the University of Sheffield and the results show Elklan Training made a statistically significant impact on children’s receptive and expressive language skills. Those who received Talking Matters support progressed by an average of seven months in their language development, whilst children in the control group who did not receive the Talking Matters support progressed by two months. Differences could also be seen in both the children’s ability to understand and ability to use and combine words with practitioners reporting a significant statistical increase in their understanding of, and work to facilitate, children’s speech, language and communication as a direct result of our programme. More details can be found here
Furthermore, an evidence-based standardised assessment, WinG (Words In Game Test), developed by Allegra Cattani et al. and STASS/Elklan Training assess the knowledge of nouns, verbs and adjectives in children aged 19-36 months. Essential for those committed to analysing early language development in very young children.
There is clearly an urgent and significant need to address these communication challenges in the youngest of our children if we are to ensure success in school later on in their lives. Elklan is proud to be playing such a significant and important role in supporting our nation to do just this.