Public Seminar: Integrating evidence-based practice to support oral language in the early years: drivers of effective implementation

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Oracy skills are foundational for learning and attainment yet oral language delays in preschool children continue to challenge practitioners and policy makers. I consider steps to maximize the impact and increase the sustainability of effective language pedagogy using an implementation science framework.

Understanding the relationships between language and learning requires an awareness of both the key components of the language system across development and children’s language learning contexts. These contexts include the environment, opportunities for talking and listening, and language supporting interactions. Language development is compromised when language learning contexts are impoverished. Drawing on data from studies of language development in the preschool years, the language learning contexts and language interventions I argue that the focus of our implementation efforts should be underpinned by providing high quality language nutrition. Methodological and conceptual challenges for future research are considered to further our ability to effectively impact on policy and practice.