Narrowing the gap for children with language delay

By Thursday, December 18, 2014 No tags Permalink

The Talk Boost intervention from I CAN is a successful programme developed to help narrow the gap between 4-7 year olds with language delay and their peers. Talk Boost was developed by I CAN, the children’s communication charity, and evaluated using evidence collected by professionals in two comprehensive trials (and ongoing evaluations.)

Talk Boost is a ten week intervention programme that is delivered three times a week by a trained teaching assistant. In trials it was shown to increase the communication age-level of a child by between nine and 18 months. Teaching staff have described it as ‘fantastic, practical, useful. It will help our children.’

Recent feedback using data collected since May 2014 shows that after ten weeks of intervention, the number of children reaching expected levels and no longer needing help to talk in sentences almost tripled, whilst more than two thirds of children no longer need help understanding language, as they have reached expected levels. This means that the impact of Talk Boost demonstrated during the trials is being replicated in everyday practice.

Talk Boost’s impact has been consistently positive for a number of reasons, one of which is the emphasis placed on the children’s participation, with a variety of activities that develop their experience of shared communication and where they can also celebrate their achievements. Nearly three quarters of children who received Talk Boost felt that they were good communicators after the intervention.

Another huge benefit of the Talk Boost intervention programme, beyond its positive impact on the selected children and the class as a whole, is the progression tool. The tool, which can be found in the package’s accompanying resources, can be used by teachers to both identify the children with specific needs and track their progress, providing invaluable evidence of the intervention’s outcomes.

I CAN hopes it will be able to reach more children by sharing the great results Talk Boost is continuing to produce.

As one teacher said, ‘[it] should be taught in all schools.’

To find out more please visit our dedicated Talk Boost site at: www.ican.org.uk/talkboost

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