Language development underpins children’s social development and their achievement of good learning outcomes. The purpose of the Speech & Language Action Project is to improve children’s life chances through effective language support and interventions.  In practice, we aim to:

  • Help schools access and produce evidence of effective practice
  • Work in partnership with language practitioners to inform the translation of research findings into practice and co-develop a research agenda, focusing on areas of need
  • Gather evidence on the factors that influence language development in monolingual and multilingual children

The work of this Action Project is informed by a group of Yorkshire-based researchers, teaching improvement consultants, speech & language therapists, head teachers and teachers. We also benefit from the expertise of an Advisory Board, comprising national and international experts in language development.

Specific Projects

Assessing core language skills in the Born in Bradford cohort

The goal of this project is to administer a concise and well-controlled language battery to the BiB cohort to obtain measurements on language development and its effects on academic attainment.

Assessing the effectiveness of Talk Matters

Talk Matters is a Yorkshire-based multi-agency approach to closing the gap in attainment for vulnerable groups through supporting the speech, language and communication development of pupil-premium children with poor language skills. The intervention is based on a Continuous Professional Development programme, delivered by speech & language therapists and teaching & learning consultants to teachers and teaching assistants on school premises. This project will carry out an evaluation of effectiveness by comparing a group receiving the intervention with a matched waiting control, so that any gain after intervention can be compared with gains due to “natural” development. The two groups will each comprise three classes (Year 1, Year 3 and Year 5).

Research outputs

To be added soon.

Meet the team

Professor Cecile De Cat

Action Project Leader and Professor of Linguistics

Karen Baguley

Karen Baguley

Speech & Language Therapist

Christian Bunting

Teaching School Director (Bradford Birth to 19)

Dr Claudine Bowyer-Crane

Senior Lecturer in Education

Dr Paula Clarke

Associate Professor in Education

Dr Catherine Davies

Associate Professor in Linguistics

Professor Alice Deignan

Professor in Education

Dr Yvonne Griffiths

Associate Professor in Education

Lydia Gunning

Research Associate and PhD Student in Psychology

Sarah Gordon

Sarah Gordon

Assistant Head Teacher (All Saints Primary)

Rebecca Heald

Rebecca Heald

Language Development Manager (BHT Education)

Dr Ekaterini Klepousniotou

Associate Professor in Psychology

Andrea Layzell

50 things to do before you're five - Bradford Lead

Louise McCrystal

Louise McCrystal

Speech & Language Therapist

Dr Hannah Nash

Lecturer in Psychology

Dr Dea Nielsen

Research Fellow for the Better Start Bradford Innovation Hub

Therese O'Sullivan

Therese O'Sullivan

Learning Improvement Consultant

Saiqa Riasat

Bilingual Learning and Teaching Association

Professor Ruth Swanwick

Professor in Education