Professor Padraic Monaghan, Dr Claire Noble, Dr Caroline Floccia, Jacky Chan
Masterclass Room B | 09.15-12.15

Good communication skills benefit every aspect of our lives – from academic success to personal relationships. Mastering these skills depend on both the quantity and quality of the language spoken in adult-child interactions from the earliest stages of a child’s life.

In this masterclass, experts from the Story Starters project at the University of Liverpool and from the ESRC LuCiD Centre will:

  • outline their growing understanding of language development in both mono and bilingual children
  • provide practical guidance on how to support a child’s early language development

Masterclass timetable:

9.15-9.30 Coffee and welcome

9.30-10.00 Language development: lessons from the research lab

Gain an insight into:

  • the importance of good language skills to later personal and academic success
  • the number of children experiencing language delay
  • how children’s language-learning skills rely, and build, on earlier developments and how we can ensure children get the best start
  • the extent to which factors such as home and school environment affect a child’s vocabulary and language development, and how small changes in caregiver behaviour can have big effects on language development

Dr Claire Noble, Senior Postdoctoral Researcher, Story Starters, University of Liverpool

10.00-10.45 In practice: quantity and quality

Learn practical strategies for supporting the early stages of a child’s language acquisition and develop your understanding of:

  • why some aspects of language are hard to acquire
  • features of a language-rich environment for the child in the nursery and at home
  • what constitutes ‘quality’ adult-child interactions
  • how often children need to experience meaningful ‘communication’ interactions with adults

Padraic Monaghan, Professor of Cognition at Lancaster University and co-director of LuCiD

10.45-11.00 Coffee break: your chance to network

11.00-11.45 Language development: the bilingual or multilingual child

This session will provide an overview of:

  • the benefits and challenges of being bilingual
  • how can we detect a real language delay in a bilingual child
  • how the similarities or differences between two languages affect learning

Dr Caroline Floccia, Reader in developmental psychology, Plymouth University

11.45-12.15 In practice: a mixed environment

Hear about the findings of a PhD research project looking at how early years practitioners speak to a group of three- to five-year-olds, some monolingual, some bilingual, and with varying levels of language development.

Learn practical strategies and tips on how to promote the language skills of bilingual children in an early years setting.

Jacky Chan, Leverhulme Trust doctoral student, Department of Psychology, Lancaster University, and Dr Caroline Floccia, Reader in developmental psychology, Plymouth University

Full rate for attending 9.30-12.30 masterclass: £125 (+VAT) / Early bird rate £99 (+VAT) for bookings made by 27th April.

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