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The research behind LanguageScreen

LanguageScreen is a language assessment developed by a research team led by Professor Charles Hulme at the University of Oxford. The LanguageScreen mobile app runs on any tablet and can be administered by teachers or teaching assistants. It is quick to use (about 10 minutes per child) and provides an accurate measure of a child’s language ability.

LanguageScreen is the product of extensive research. We developed LanguageScreen because we believe it is essential for teachers to be able assess children’s language skills. Language skills form the basis for the whole of formal education (including reading and numeracy skills) as well being critical for children’s social and emotional development (friendship formation and emotion regulation). Language skills are not fixed; they can be improved by suitable teaching - see this article. LanguageScreen allows education professionals to identify those children who will benefit from support to develop their language skills.

LanguageScreen was developed by the same research team responsible for the Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI) programme. LanguageScreen was used in a study evaluating the effectiveness of the NELI programme in 193 schools (involving testing roughly 6000 children). In this study, LanguageScreen was effective in allowing school staff to identify children with language difficulties and also provided an accurate measure of the improvements in children’s language skills following the NELI programme. LanguageScreen is the recommended language assessment tool for identifying children who will benefit from NELI.

The research team behind LanguageScreen and NELI are continuing to develop methods to help schools to identify and remediate children’s language difficulties.