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UCL research study – can you help recruit deaf children for the Preschool Language and Literacy study?

Posted in News

Researchers at University College London (UCL) are conducting an exciting research study called “Preschool Language and Literacy”. They are looking for new children and nurseries to participate (England only).

“Can you help us recruit more deaf children to participate in our ongoing longitudinal study looking at early language and emerging reading (Preschool Language and Literacy study)? The study is being run by Dr Fiona Kyle, Prof Ros Herman, and Dr Katie Mason at University College London and City, University of London. Our main aim is to understand how preschool language and emerging literacy skills are related to later reading ability. This study has been running since 2019 and we successfully recruited 102 deaf and hearing children with your help. We are now looking to recruit an additional wave of children to participate in this important study.”

How is preschool language related to reading?

“We aim to understand how preschool language and emerging literacy skills are related to later reading ability. We will investigate whether we can predict which children are at risk for literacy difficulties from their preschool language and phonological (understanding the sounds of spoken language) skills.

Why is this research important?

Some hearing children and many deaf children find learning to read challenging. It is therefore important to identify children who may struggle with reading BEFORE they start learning to read. Early identification will help ensure that children who need it have appropriate support as they begin learning to read.

What happens when a child takes part in the project?

Our three-year longitudinal study follows preschool hearing and deaf children who use spoken language. We will assess them on a range of tasks measuring language, phonological and grammatical skills.  This will be done over 3 short sessions which last about 20 mins each. All assessments are child-friendly, age-appropriate and fun for children to complete. We will re-test all the children when they are in reception, year one and year two.

Can you help us recruit children?

We are looking for deaf and hearing children who are 3 and 4 years old, use spoken language, and have no significant additional educational needs.  We are keen for the sample to be as representative as possible and include deaf children in mainstream nurseries as well as those in units attached to schools.

If you are a parent, teacher, or other professional who would like their child or nursery to take part, or if you are looking for more information about the project, please contact Dr Katie Mason, Deafness, Cognition and Language Research Centre, University College London, via [email protected], or download our project flyer here.

The project is being run by Dr Fiona Kyle, Prof Ros Herman and Dr Katie Mason, with funding from the Heather van der Lely Foundation.

You can follow us on Twitter for research updates from this project and others @Ladder_Lab  or visit our website: http://www.ladder-lab.com