The Surrey Communication and Language in Education Study (SCALES): what are teachers concerned about?

Courtenay Norbury
Dr Courtenay Frazier Norbury, Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London

21 January 2013

The Surrey Communication and Language in Education Study (SCALES) is the first population study of language and communication skills at school entry in the UK.
Our aims are to identify children at risk of language learning impairments during their first year of formal schooling, and to discover what other aspects of development may be vulnerable in children with language impairments, and how patterns of language and other cognitive and behavioural skill and deficit change over time.
In summer 2012, 243 teachers across Surrey completed screening questionnaires for 7532 children at the end of the reception year. In this talk, I will describe the screening population and discuss aspects of development that cause teachers greatest concern. I will also describe how scores on our measure of language and communication development relate to general behavioural strengths and difficulties, and to the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile. I will conclude with an outline of the current testing phase of the SCALES project.

Dr Courtenay Norbury is an RCUK Research Fellow in Cognitive Science in the Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Following her first degree at the University of New Mexico, USA, she completed an MSc in Clinical Communication Studies at City University in London, qualifying as a speech-language therapist. She started her clinical practice in City and Hackney Primary Health Care Trust, before leaving to work with Professor Dorothy Bishop, at the University of Oxford. She completed her doctorate in experimental psychology under the supervision of Professor Bishop in 2004.

Courtenay was awarded a New Career Development Fellowship by the Nuffield Foundation to work with Professor Kate Nation in Oxford. During that time she was awarded the Neil O’Connor award by the British Psychological Society and the Dissertation Award by the International Association for Autism Research, for work arising from her doctoral thesis. She moved to Royal Holloway in 2007.

Courtenay was awarded a Media Fellowship by the British Science Association, which enabled her to spend three weeks working as a science correspondent for the Irish Times. She is currently one of the joint editors for Language at the Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research.

The Surrey Communication and Language in Education Study (SCALES) Lecture audio (53 mins)
The Surrey Communication and Language in Education Study (SCALES) Powerpoint presentation (pdf) with audio timings

This seminar was convened by Dr Victoria Murphy, Applied Linguistics Research Group