Supporting children with identified speech, language and communication needs at two-years-old: voices of early years practitioners.

Nicholson, N. (2020) Supporting children with identified speech, language and communication needs at two-years-old: voices of early years practitioners. Post-Doctoral thesis, University of Lincoln.

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Communication and language skills are essential for children to access learning opportunities and the curriculum. Existing research has highlighted that some children are living in England who start school without the necessary level of communication and language skills, to access the curriculum fully. Previous research has demonstrated that early identification of a speech, language and communication need (SLCN), is key to providing targeted interventions, to reduce the impact caused by these additional needs. However, changes within policy have created challenges for early years practitioners in identifying SLCN and providing support for those children. The current study explores the experiences of early years practitioners, as they navigate through the current statutory and non-statutory guidance, to identify, assess and support children’s development. The study utilised a narrative inquiry approach, through unstructured conversational interviews, to explore participants’ experiences. The fourteen interviews conducted involved fifteen participants from two geographical locations. A synthesised approach to analysis was taken, using both constructivist grounded theory and narrative framework approaches that provided an analytical framework. Findings suggest that the level of external support available to practitioners through education and health authorities varies according to location. Assessment arrangements through the primary tools used to assess children and the external pressure to collect data from assessments were discussed as a pressure point for participants, that at times, impacted on the reliability of the assessments conducted. These findings could add to the existing body of knowledge, by providing insight of assessment processes and the differences in assessments from setting to setting within geographical locations. The findings could raise questions on the validity of the assessment tool gathered from local and national data to create an overview of children’s developmental levels nationally.

Item Type: Thesis (Post-Doctoral)
Additional Information: © 2020 The Author
Keywords: early childhood, assessment, speech, language, communication, special educational needs, practitioner, professional identity, foucault, surveillance, normative development, accountability
Depositing User: Nyree-Anne Nicholson
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2021 13:26
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2021 13:26

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