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<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>In recent years educationalists have been concerned that children from more socially deprived areas of the UK come to formal schooling at age five with poor language skills. In 2001 responses by early years professionals (responsible for children aged 0–5 years), to a questionnaire and follow-up interview, found that their general levels of training in language development were low. Since 2001 training has increased in the sector and there have been new initiatives around promoting language development in the early years. This paper aims to reflect on the educational context in the Early Years Foundation Stage (children aged 3–5) a decade ago; to consider how this context has changed; and, to discuss what potential impact the changes may have had on the training of Foundation Stage professionals in relation to children with speech, language and communication needs. It will draw on results from a large sample of children aged 2;0 to 7;6 years that were tested for language comprehension and production in 2010 as part of the standardisation of a redeveloped language test (New Reynell Developmental Language Scales (NRDLS): Edwards et al. 2011). There is some evidence from this study that the percentage of children from low socio-economic status (SES) backgrounds who have speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) or language delay may be decreasing.</jats:p>
European Journal of Applied Linguistics – de Gruyter
Published: Apr 1, 2014
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