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Children with speech and language communication needs in England: Challenges for practice

Dockrell, J; Leung, D; Fugard, A; Howell, P; (2017) Children with speech and language communication needs in England: Challenges for practice. Frontiers in Education , 2 , Article 35. 10.3389/feduc.2017.00035. Green open access

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Abstract

Teachers and speech and language therapists (SLTs) share concern about children’s speech, language, and communication needs (SLCNs) but they have different foci because of their professional roles. Contemporary research has identified the challenges to schools when meeting the needs of children with SLCN, highlighted terminological controversies, and has increased opportunities for professional development. The views of 170 Educationalists and SLT professionals in England about SLCN, and the children’s associated needs were compared for similarities and differences in an online survey that employed both categorical responses and Likert scales. Comparisons were made between teacher and SLT groups and between SLTs working in schools and clinics. There were few significant differences between the views of SLTs in clinics and education. In contrast, there were often large and significant differences between teachers and SLTs. Education professionals were less familiar with terminology related to speech difficulties, did not discriminate between behaviors that might differentiate speech from language difficulties and varied in the ratings given about other associated difficulties. Additionally, education professionals showed awareness of academic and behavior difficulties associated with language difficulties and highlighted associated problems with reading and writing. SLTs felt confident in their understanding of the relevant terminology but there was less clarity in the features that discriminated speech from language difficulties. Both the Educationalists and SLTs valued additional training needs with over 50% of the Education staff reporting that they had no training in SLCN. The lack of clarity about the language markers of SLCN by teachers and the requests for tools to help in the identification of speech and language problems in school-age children are important areas to address. Both SLTs and Education staff emphasized the co-occurrence of difficulties with reading comprehension and written text production, highlighting the importance of profiling children’s language learning needs rather than a reliance on diagnostic categories.

Type: Article
Title: Children with speech and language communication needs in England: Challenges for practice
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/feduc.2017.00035
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.3389/feduc.2017.00035
Language: English
Additional information: © 2017 Dockrell, Howell, Leung and Fugard. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Keywords: Speech and language therapists, educational support, policy and practice, schools, speech and language needs
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Psychology and Human Development
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1561367
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