OWLing success in bid to boost nursery language skills

24th October 1997 at 01:00
Three-year-olds in disadvantaged communities can make significant gains if their parents are closely involved in language development at home, a pilot project in Greenock has shown.

Two groups of nursery children were screened by psychologists and speech therapists and the parents of a pilot group were given additional support in developing language skills.

Children were tested in January and again in August after a 16-week intervention programme. The average improvement in the 20-strong pilot group was 24 months for comprehension and 20 months for expression. In the group without extra support, improvement in comprehension averaged 15 months but gains in expression only matched the normal maturity rate of nine months.

Nursery staff worked with parents in the evening on a structured programme of language development. Parents were given advice about simple strategies to use when talking to children, such as the 3As (allow, adapt, add) and OWLing (observe, wait, listen). They were also given hints about talking to children when they were playing, reading or around the house.

Parents were filmed talking to their children at four points during the programme and progress was discussed with each of them. The education committee praised the commitment and hard work of the parents.

Inverclyde wants to extend the scheme to other nurseries and may make a bid for funding.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now