This study is heavily inspired from Providence Talks which was conducted in the US (http://www.providencetalks.org/). Numerous studies have found children from less privileged backgrounds will hear approximately 30 million fewer words than children from upper income families by age 5. This difference has also been found to lead to poor performance at school and later academic success.
Providence Talks uses new technology and training of both parents and children to enhance children's language development. We are conducting similar research within the UK, specifically in Smethwick. We are using specialist technology to record and monitor child's speech which is the first time this cutting edge technology is being used within the UK. Smethwick has been rated to be one of the most deprived areas in Sandwell, thus we are keen to see results from participants living in this area.
Parent Training Day (Jan 2016)
Our parent training day consisted of the researchers from University of Worcester teaching our pilot parents a few techniques they could use at home to enhance their child's vocabulary.
The six areas that were highlighted included:
Tuning In- Talking and observing child during spoken interaction
Talking More- Using open ended questions during everyday activities such as story telling
Taking Turns- Allowing child to speak and responding accordingly
Turning Off- Turning off electrical devices to prevent distractions and promote speech
Tea Time- Eating together at the same time and engaging in conversation
Tell a story- Training children to read stories and asking open questions to reveal more vocabulary use.