Hulme, Snowling, West, Lervåg & Melby-Lervåg (2020): Children’s Language Skills Can Be Improved: Lessons From Psychological Science for Educational Policy
I: Current Directions in Psychological Science, Online first, Open Access
Oral language is crucial for social interaction and for learning in the classroom; it also provides the foundation for reading comprehension. It follows that children with language difficulties are at high risk of educational failure. Recently, a number of studies have demonstrated that it is possible to produce small but significant improvements in children’s oral language through targeted language interventions (d = 0.16) and, furthermore, that studies with high-quality implementation show larger effects (d = 0.24). There is also evidence that effects of language intervention can generalize to produce improvements in reading comprehension. Although further research examining the long-term effects of language interventions are needed, current findings have important implications for educational policy and practice.