1 Speech, anguage and communication Information for managers and schoo staff
2 Introduction The Communication Trust has deveoped this short guide to hep schoos support chidren s speech, anguage and communication. It outines some key information on speech, anguage and communication usefu for a teaching staff but of particuar interest to SENCOs, iteracy co-ordinators and those working with chidren who have speech, anguage and communication needs (SLCN). This booket provides information on resources deveoped to hep schoo staff support speech, anguage and communication incuding a free resource supported by The Communication Trust and deveoped by I CAN and the BT Better Word Campaign. This booket aso provides information on a range of organisations providing support in this area and signposts further support via Speech, anguage and communication in primary schoos We expect that when chidren start primary schoo, they do so with proficient speech, anguage and communication skis; we expect they wi be abe to understand much of what is said, express themseves ceary, share their feeings and make their needs known. Language is the vehice for most earning and we know this proficiency in speech, anguage and communication is critica to the deveopment of chidren s cognitive, socia and emotiona we-being. 1 2 A chidren can benefit from support in speech anguage and communication. We know how important anguage is for earning and attainment. There are inks between speech, anguage and communication with earning, behaviour, socia skis and sef-esteem. Good understanding and use of anguage is needed to support the success of programmes such as socia emotiona aspects of earning (SEAL ). 3 Speech, anguage and communication skis are essentia in the deveopment of skis for ife and work. But it is important to define what we mean when we tak about speech, anguage and communication.
3 What do we mean by speech, anguage and communication? By speech we mean The speech sounds chidren use to buid up words, saying sounds accuratey and in the right paces Speaking fuenty, without hesitating, proonging or repeating words or sounds Speaking with expression and a cear voice, using pitch, voume and intonation to support meaning By anguage we mean both taking (expressive anguage) and understanding of anguage By expressive anguage we mean; Having words to describe objects, actions and attributes Using these words to buid up sentences Using these sentences to buid up conversations and narratives Foowing the rues of grammar, so that things make sense By communication we mean the way in which anguage is used to interact with others Using anguage in different ways; to question, carify, describe and debate Using non-verba rues of communication: istening, ooking, knowing how to take verba turns and how to change anguage use to suit the situation The abiity to take into account other peope s perspectives, intentions and wider context We need a three eements in order to get our messages across. Each of the three eements is mutifaceted and mutiayered. Without aspects of any one of these eements, what chidren say and understand can become confused. With a these eements, chidren can maximise their attainment. By understanding we mean; Processing and making sense of what peope say Understanding words being spoken Understanding the rues of grammar used
4 The importance of speech, anguage and communication Many teachers are aware of the importance of speech, anguage and communication, though they may aso fee they do not have the skis needed to support pupis with difficuties. Teachers have reported a ack of confidence both in assessing the spoken anguage of their pupis and in impementing strategies to support the deveopment of communication skis, particuary when chidren have difficuties. 4 It is vita that a primary schoo staff, from the head teacher to unchtime supervisors, have the skis and knowedge to support communication in the cassroom and the schoo community as a whoe. Professiona deveopment is key and has been identified as criticay important in achieving positive outcomes for a chidren. Why we a need to think about speech, anguage and communication Language is fundamenta to a earning and crucia for deveopment in primary schoo chidren; 5 poor anguage skis wi impact on chidren s attainment in schoo. These can be divided into two groups; the first group, around 5-7% of a chidren, has speech, anguage, communication needs (SLCN) 7 arising from a primary and specific anguage impairment, that is anguage impairment in the absence of any other earning difficuty. The second group has SLCN as part of another underying earning need, such as autistic spectrum disorder or earning difficuties. SLCN is identified by DCSF in the pupi eve annua schoo census (PLASC) 8 data as one of the SEN subtypes. The Communication Trust uses the term SLCN as an umbrea term to incude a chidren who are experiencing difficuty with any aspect of speech, anguage and communication, those with ong term more persistent needs and those with deayed anguage. We a need to concentrate on speech, anguage and communication because of the massive impact these skis have on chidren s overa deveopment. A chidren, incuding the most abe, wi benefit from support with speech, anguage and communication. We know that many teachers recognise how important anguage and communication is for chidren s progress. Teachers have aso expressed concern that many chidren are starting schoo with inadequate anguage skis. 6 In addition to the chidren coming into schoo with deayed anguage, there is a group of chidren with more persistent ong term difficuties.
5 What happens when anguage doesn t deveop? There is a substantia amount of evidence inking SLCN with other areas of difficuty. We know that chidren with SLCN have difficuties across many areas of their ives. Chidren with SLCN have more difficuty with many aspects of earning compared to their peers. They can have difficuties with deveoping a aspects of iteracy skis, (reading, writing and speing), causing difficuties in accessing a areas of the curricuum. Listening and understanding teachers instructions is chaenging for those chidren with difficuties understanding anguage. For exampe, they may know and understand how to buid a rocket, but not understand the verba instructions that te them what to do. Many chidren with SLCN have poor understanding and use of vocabuary, meaning every aspect of the curricuum can be confusing and their abiity to earn the vocabuary can be significanty impaired. They often have difficuties with skis such as reasoning and predicting, so athough they coud demonstrate what wi happen next in a science experiment, their anguage does not aow them to verbaise it. Sometimes they just need more time to process anguage it may be that whie they are istening and processing one instruction, the next piece of information has aready been said. The pace and eve of anguage used to teach the curricuum therefore acts as a barrier to earning, rather than a faciitator. Chidren s frustrations can bubbe to the surface when trying to earn in an environment where their weakness is aso the vehice for earning. As a resut, many chidren with SLCN can demonstrate behaviour difficuties ranging from occasiona bouts of unpredictabe behaviour to specific patterns of misbehaviour. Conversey, we aso know that many chidren with identified behavioura, emotiona, socia difficuties (BESD) have unidentified anguage difficuties. Without good communication skis, the abiity to form and maintain friendships can be affected. Some chidren become withdrawn, whereas others dispay behaviour difficuties. As they move towards the end of their primary years, chidren with ong term SLCN become much more aware of their areas of difficuty and research has shown they view themseves in a more negative ight, both educationay and sociay, than their peers. 9 Language is an a day every day activity, it pervades the primary schoo curricuum and community and has a massive impact on chidren s earning and schoo experience. As such, it is something that needs to be considered and panned for across the curricuum. We a need to know what to expect from chidren at different ages. These are the foundation skis for earning and sociaising. Without them, success in other areas is seriousy at risk.
6 Resources to support the chidren s workforce The Speech, Language and Communication Framework (SLCF) The SLCF has been deveoped by The Communication Trust to hep a peope working with chidren to consider their professiona deveopment in reation to chidren s speech, anguage and communication. It maps to teachers professiona standards and supports deveopment for wider schoo staff groups. It provides competences at four different stages, from Universa, supporting awareness of communication for the entire chidren s workforce (in schoos this woud mean teachers, teaching assistants, midday mea supervisors etc.), to Extension, for highy speciaised practitioners. A staff can work through the Framework and identify their strengths and areas for deveopment. The SLCF can be used by individuas to evauate their knowedge and skis, or as a whoe schoo staff group to identify where the skis ie and support panning for whoe schoo deveopment. The SLCF aims to improve outcomes for a chidren by being cear about what skis and knowedge staff need to support good communication skis. It highights strengths and identifies areas for deveopment. It aso heps staff to find reevant training courses and consider other practica or coaborative ways to deveop skis and knowedge in those areas identified for deveopment. As a competence based framework, that is reated to the Integrated Quaifications Framework (IQF), it coud be used to support staff at different eves in their work towards achieving recognised quaifications eg. NVQs. The SLCF aso provides guidance on what training courses are avaiabe and woud meet the needs of individuas or schoo settings. It is a too for staff to think about supporting communication in a chidren, incuding those with particuar needs. Pease visit The Communication Cookbook This is a new free resource produced by the BT Better Word Campaign, deveoped by I CAN and distributed by The Communication Trust. It is a free resource targeted at parents and teachers of chidren in reception and year 1, though it can be used and easiy adapted for other age groups. It consists of: A book, fu of information and activities to encourage anguage and communication skis in chidren A DVD demonstrating some of the activities, incuding feedback from the schoos who tested the book and more information about speech, anguage and communication Onine interactive games for chidren to support their anguage skis A ibrary of 160 picture cards to downoad and use in the games To hep teachers and parents invove speech, anguage and communication in their day to day ives, The Communication Cookbook contains ots of activities concerning different areas of speaking and istening.
7 What happens when anguage doesn t deveop? Resources to support the chidren s workforce The Communication Cookbook contains 20 activities across the foowing core strands of anguage: Attention and istening skis Vocabuary Buiding sentences Teing stories Conversations We know how busy teachers and parents are, so we have tried to make the activities easy to understand and quick to use without too much preparation. The picture ibrary heps with this and can aso be printed to create a reay usefu resource which coud be used in many different ways. We have used vocabuary from Ann Locke s Living Language programme, 10 a we-regarded programme for supporting vocabuary and anguage deveopment, to ensure words are reevant to the age of chidren invoved. Simpe anguage is used throughout and is predominanty presented in the present tense to support here and now understanding. We have aso given simpe information on each activity which heps parents, teachers and chidren themseves to understand what they are earning whist paying the games. The games support different eements of effective speaking and istening which are needed for deveopment of anguage and communication. Setting the games and activities within an environment that supports communication enhances them even further. To support this idea there is an additiona set of activities to hep teachers and parents create an environment which supports communication. Sometimes just being more aware of anguage and communication can hep staff to make the sma changes that have the biggest impact on chidren s speaking and istening. The Communication Cookbook is a simpe yet effective resource. It has been triaed with teachers and parents who have been positive about how easy it is to use and the changes they ve seen in chidren. Here are some of their comments The staff were reay peased to have something concrete to hep them get going with speaking and istening. SENCO You woudn t beieve the change in the chidren in one day.. it was eye popping. Reception cass teacher It s good to make it a expicit we do it, but we don t make it expicit. Teacher Order your free copy now for Juy deivery from
8 Resources to support the chidren s workforce AFASIC Afasic is the UK charity representing the needs of chidren and young peope with speech and anguage impairments, providing hep, information and support to parents and professionas working with this vunerabe group. Afasic has a range of resources and materias for parents and professionas, which incudes information about different types of impairments, speech and anguage therapy, educationa provision, and strategies to support chidren and young peope. Pease visit the Afasic website or if you have an immediate concern pease ring the Afasic Hepine on The BT Better Word Campaign BT Better Word provides an extensive range of free resources to hep teachers, parents and chidren improve their communication skis, with a particuar focus on diaogue. In addition, BT offers in-schoo support from BT vounteers, drama teams and trainers. A the resources are based on the TakWorks mode of communication. See to downoad and order free resources. The Communication Trust The Communication Trust inks to the SLCF and contains a range of resources incuding inks to over 20 different vountary organisations in this fied. I CAN I CAN is the chidren s communication charity. It offers a whoe range of resources with the aim of raising awareness of the importance of speech, anguage and communication and supporting schoos and parents to identify and support those chidren with SLCN. Taking Point Taking Point is the first stop onine for information on communication in chidren, incuding some great tips for supporting chidren s communication in the cassroom and essentia information for parents. Visit Targeting Tak Was deveoped between I CAN and Serco giving detaied eve descriptors inked to P Scaes and the Nationa Curricuum, from P4 to Leve 5, focused on pupis expressive, receptive and socia use of anguage. It has a reference bank of successfu cassroom strategies to promote speaking and istening skis. Its aim is to support teachers to be abe to identify eves of chidren s functioning in speech, anguage and communication. Primary Tak Primary Tak is being deveoped by I CAN in partnership with Somerset Tota Communication (STC) and Somerset Loca Authority. It foows on from the successfu Eary Tak programme, though focussed on the primary phase of education. It is a systematic approach to deveoping a chidren s communication skis through training and service deveopment. I CAN Tak Series I CAN Tak is a series of papers exporing contemporary issues in chidren s communication
9 Resources to support the chidren s workforce deveopment. I CAN Tak papers review current research and iterature and offer practica evidence-based soutions to inform debate and to support practitioners, parents and poicy makers. The atest issue is caed Speech, Language and Communication Needs and Primary-aged Chidren. I CAN schoos I CAN has two day and residentia schoos which provide intensive support for pupis with severe and compex communication needs aged Meath Schoo, Surrey (for ages 4-11) or Dawn House Schoo, Nottinghamshire (a ages) Communication Skis Centres (CSC) Meath Schoo and Dawn House Schoo operate Communication Skis Centres which provide independent assessment of chidren s communication skis and their impact on earning. Outreach and consutancy services are aso offered from the CSCs; these incude audit, advice, guidance and training for individua pupis, schoos, statutory, vountary and commercia sectors. For more information on I CAN go to Nationa Strategies Incusion Deveopment Programme (IDP): Dysexia and Speech, Language and Communication Needs Offered through the Nationa Strategies, this is an interactive DCSF-funded training resource which takes the form of a DVD and web-based materias. The resource has been designed to serve two purposes: - to support headteachers, SENCOs and eadership teams in panning to raise the attainment of chidren with dysexia or SLCN - to support teachers and support staff in panning for incusion and in the further deveopment of teaching strategies to effectivey meet the needs of pupis with dysexia or SLCN. The resource is not intended to provide higheve speciaist training. Rather, it is designed to increase the confidence of teachers and others when identifying and addressing SEN. Athough focusing specificay on Communication Needs and Dysexia, the materia presented represents good quaity first teaching (QFT) and is therefore more generay appicabe. It is targeted at both primary and secondary schoos, in order to support continuity and progression, with eements specific to primary or secondary and some eements that are for both. The DVD incudes video exempification drawn from primary and secondary schoos, a gossary of terms and a ibrary of resources, as we as with inks to usefu websites which provide access to routes to further professiona deveopment, training and resources. The resource can be accessed through the Nationa Strategies website at features/incusion/sen/idp
10 Two conversation games From The Communication Cookbook These games provide chidren with the opportunity to practise their conversation skis. The games are great to pay with a singe chid whenever you have a few minutes to spare; for exampe, when you re driving, waiting in a queue, having a mea, and so on. If you pay as a group, sit the chidren in a circe, if possibe on chairs (this seems to work better). About eight is the idea number. Remind the chidren how important it is to take turns and do good istening. Once the chidren are famiiar with the game, et them each have a go at being the group eader. It s important for you to join in and pay an active roe. And don t forget to praise hepfu behaviour. That was ovey istening, Kim. You knew exacty what Darren said. 1. Introductions Say your name very ceary and then add a detai about yoursef that begins with the same sound as your name. For exampe: My name is Jane and I ike jogging. The chidren take turns at making their own statements. My name is Ramesh and I ike rhubarb. My name is Aana and I ike appes. You can change the stye of the introduction. For exampe: My name is Mathew and I don t ike mice. My name is Christopher and I don t ike carrots. Another variation might be: My name is Say and I am sweet. My name is Caros and I am quick. 2. Presents for a Chidren take turns at saying what they woud give each other for a birthday or Christmas present and (very importanty) why. Exampe: I d get Jane a Dr Who money box because Dr Who is her favourite TV show. Order your free copy now for Juy deivery from
11 The purpose of The Communication Trust is to raise awareness of the importance of speech, anguage and communication across the chidren s workforce and to enabe practitioners to access the best training and expertise to support the communication needs of a chidren. The Trust was founded by Afasic, BT Better Word Campaign, Counci for Disabed Chidren and I CAN. The Trust is supported by over 20 vountary and community groups who deiver services and support to chidren with SLCN. The Communication Trust is aso working cosey with a number of ead bodies in the fied of workforce deveopment incuding the Chidren s Workforce Deveopment Counci (CWDC) and the Training and Deveopment Agency for Schoos (TDA) and with professiona groups in the fied of speech, anguage and communication incuding Roya Coege of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) and Nationa Association of Professionas concerned with Language Impairment in Chidren (NAPLIC). The Trust s work is being supported by the Department for Chidren, Schoos and Famiies and other funders. The Trust is hosted by I CAN and works to a representative board Rose, J. (2006) Independent Review of the Teaching of Eary Reading DfES 2. Dr Tanya Byron, Chatter Matters DVD, 3. Socia and emotiona aspects of earning... improving behaviour... improving earning. DfES Aug primary/pubicaions/banda/sea 4. I CAN YouGov survey (2007) 5. Goswami, U. and Bryant, P. (2007) Chidren s Cognitive Deveopment and Learning (Primary Review Research Survey 2/1a), Cambridge: University of Cambridge Facuty of Education. 6. Basic Skis Agency (2002) Summary Report into Young Chidren s Skis on Entry to Education 7. Lindsay, G. and Dockre, J. with Mackie, C. and Becky Letchford (2002) Educationa Provision for Chidren with Specific Speech and Language Difficuties in Engand and Waes CEDAR 8. DCSF 2007 Nationa Statistics first reease, Sept Jerome, A.C., Fujiki, M., Brinton, B. and James, S. (2002) Sef-esteem in Chidren with Specific Language Impairment Journa of Speech, Language and Hearing Research 45,4 10. Locke, A. (1995) Living Language, NFER Neson
12 To find out more: Cara Evans Programme Manager The Communication Trust Anita Kerwin-Nye Director The Communication Trust 8 Wakey Street London EC1V 7QE The Trust has a stakehoder group of expert organisations across the vountary and community sector. If your organisation has expertise in the area of chidren and young peope s speech, anguage and communication and you are interested in joining the stakehoder group, pease contact Anita Kerwin-Nye or Cara Evans for further information.
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