Online Seminar: Stability and change in developmental language disorder

Prof Courtenay Norbury (UCL) will give the next online LuCiD seminar on Tuesday 1st December at 11am, where she'll share some of her research on Stability and change in developmental language disorder.

The seminar is free to attend and booking isn't required, but you will  need to get in touch with our Centre Manager, Helen, for details of how to access the seminar. You can email her here.

Longitudinal studies of child language development and disorder demonstrate both steady language growth yet remarkable stability in the rank order of language competencies, at least from about the age of 4. The extent to which growth and stability are influenced by other aspects of child development is a focus of the current study.

In this talk I will present data from the Surrey Communication and Language in Education Study (SCALES), a population study of language change and stability from school entry. We followed approximately 500 children with a diverse range of language, cognitive, and social/emotional abilities from Reception to Year 6 (ages 4-10 years).  

All children showed growth in language skill, yet language was incredibly stable. Thus, children with relatively low language scores at the beginning of formal education continued to have relatively low language scores at the end of primary school. Importantly though, children with multiple developmental challenges were not falling further behind, at least in primary school. In addition, while socio-economic factors do associate with language, these factors do predict rate of language growth. These findings raise important questions about the nature and ultimate goals of intervention programmes for children with language disorder.

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