The effects of the individual, home, and community on language development in UK families

Language knowledge and use are key predictors of school readiness, literacy development and academic attainment (Duncan et al., 2007). One of the major contributors to early language development relates to the characteristics of the Home and Language Learning Environment (HLE), that is the kinds of interactions and activities that children engage in while at home with their families (Johnson et al.,2008). To date our studies of the Home and Language Learning Environment have focussed on families from western, relatively affluent households and therefore our understanding of the nature of the home learning environment and its effects on language development is limited. In the current study we will analyse the features of the home learning environment in three distinct cultural groups within the UK and focus on families from mid to low SES groups. By taking a holistic nested approach which incorporates factors pertaining to the child, the family, the home and the community, we can identify both protective mitigating features of the home learning environment as well as risk factors in underrepresented groups. The insight gained from this approach will lead to a better understanding of the nature and contribution of the home learning environment to language development and also contribute to well informed, authentic and effective language interventions.

Project Team: Chen ZhaoLudovica Serratrice and Thea Cameron-Faulkner (Lead) 

Duration: 3 years, starting September 2021

Project Number: 2.4