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SPL talk Jan2012


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Title Enhancing Language and Communication in Secondary School Students with Speech, Language and Communication Needs
Speaker Dr. Victoria Joffe
Institution School of Health Sciences, City University, London, UK
Date 2012/01/12
Time 15h00
Location IEETA Amph
Country Portugal

Summary: Research into language development and disorders has routinely focused on early preschool and primary development. However it is accepted that language development continues to develop throughout the adolescent period. These changes significantly challenge the individual’s use of language to meet the demands of their educational and social context. Clinical research on language and communication impairments in this population is also lacking and this reflects the shortage of speech and language therapy provision with this group. There is a need to develop effective and efficient intervention programmes to support secondary school students with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).

This talk describes a randomized control research study which explores the effectiveness of two intervention programmes, a narrative and vocabulary enrichment programme, delivered in schools by teaching assistants, in enhancing the language and communication skills of secondary school students with SLCN. Results support working collaboratively with teaching and support staff in improving language and communication. Results show significant and differential improvements in both groups after the intervention. Implications for future service provision and support with adolescents and young people with SLCN are explored.

Victoria Joffe, DPhil, MHPC, MRCSLT School of Health Sciences, City University, London

Victoria Joffe is Associate Dean for taught postgraduate studies in the School of Health Sciences, and Reader in developmental speech, language and communication difficulties in the Division of Language and Communication Science at City University, London.

Victoria’s area of clinical and research expertise include specific language impairment, child speech disorder, the interface between education and speech and language therapy, collaborative practice and the training of teaching staff, the relationship between language and literacy, language and communication intervention in secondary school students and evidence-based practice for children and young people with special educational needs.

She is currently writing up and disseminating the results of a large scale Nuffield funded intervention research project (ELCISS) on enhancing language and communication in secondary school students with language and communication impairments ( She has recently obtained grants from The Communication Trust and local educational authorities to continue her work in training school staff to meet the needs of children with speech, language and communication needs.

Victoria is a trustee and governor of the Link school, a school for students with special educational needs and is also a trustee of ICAN, a children’s communication charity. She is an Associate editor of the journal, Language, Speech and Hearing Services in Schools. She also acts as a speech and language therapy partner for the Health

Professions Council. She is external examiner at the Department of Clinical Language Sciences, University of Reading. Victoria is a trustee and councillor for research and development at the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) and is chair of the RCSLT’s national special interest group for older children and young adults with speech, language and communication needs.