Language Intervention in the Early Years

Project Update

With regret, due to COVID-19, we are having to ‘press pause’ on the study for now which means that we will not be visiting any schools or working with any children, effective immediately, until the government advice changes.

We do not know when the situation will change or when we will be able to start going back into schools. Depending on when restrictions are lifted it may be possible to work the children who had been identified at a later time. 

We are sorry for this change at such short notice but we are sure everyone will understand we all need to do what is needed to keep each other safe and well.

We will keep in touch with all project schools and will discuss with them whether restarting this project is possible. We will ask them to pass on any relevant updates to parents and carers.  

Please feel free to contact me by phone 0191 208 3503 or email if you have any questions.

LIVELY Project

Newcastle University is conducting a research project to evaluate the effectiveness of language interventions for pre-school children in nursery contexts with significant language difficulties.

This research project, funded by the Heather van der Lely Foundation, aims to evaluate the effectiveness of language interventions for children with language difficulties by randomly allocating schools to one of three groups:

  • Building Early Sentences Therapy (BEST) was developed by Newcastle University in partnership with speech and language therapists and has promising early signs of effectiveness.
  • The Derbyshire Language Scheme (DLS) has been used widely for many years. The study will use an adapted version of this scheme.
  • ‘Continued Classroom Support’ (CCS) where children will continue to access the usual language support provided.

The benefits of the project:

This is an excellent opportunity to involve local authority staff and schools in innovative research. There is no cost for participating in the project.

  • Eligible children, in all participating schools, will benefit from receiving a language intervention delivered by a qualified speech and language therapist. For ‘Continuing Classroom Support’ schools this will be at the end of the project.
  • All schools will have access to a series of CPD sessions, offered by the research team, focused on supporting children with language difficulties. This will increase the skills of staff and support schools to achieve their goal of providing effective language support to all children.
  • All schools will receive a certificate in recognition of their work as a research participant and their commitment to promoting robust language development in the early years.
  • Whichever group a school is in, they will be helping to identify which intervention is most appropriate. All participating schools will be trained in the use of this intervention.
  • All schools, parents and project partners will be offered a summary of the findings, once the project is complete.


Newcastle University Logo                                      HVDL Logo                                      Manchester University Logo