Language for life: funding for new early literary assessment tool
Professor Gail Gillon and her team have received funding to trial an innovative new assessment tool after finding that 61.5% of children starting school in some areas of Canterbury have poor oral language skills.
Professor Gail Gillon, Director of the Child Wellbeing Research Institute at UC, will lead research into assessing young children’s spoken language skills.
In some areas of Canterbury, alarming numbers of children are starting school with low oral language skills.
Professor Gillon’s team assessed 247 new entrant children in lower decile schools in Christchurch. They found that 61.5% of the children had poor oral language skills, and 40 of these children also had speech difficulties.
As part of their work developing the Better Start Literacy Approach, to find the most efficient and effective ways to accelerate early literacy development, the team then created a culturally responsive online oral language assessment for pre-school aged children.
They recently received $100,000 from the Canterbury Medical Research Foundation (CMRF) to trial this assessment tool.