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Welcome to languageintervention.com.

This is the research hub of Charles Hulme and Maggie Snowling. Here we share what we’ve found out about children’s language and literacy development.

Since we began in the 1970s, our aim has been to understand the cognitive processes, like memory and language, which children use when learning to read. A particular interest has been on children with specific difficulties which affect learning, such as dyslexia and developmental language disorder.  A key aim of our research is to develop theories which tell us about the causes of different learning difficulties  An overview of the framework we use for thinking about these can be found in our book ‘Developmental Disorders of Language, Learning and Cognition.

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We believe that a starting point for developing a good ‘treatment’ or ‘intervention’ for a problem, is an understanding of what causes it.  This is why our basic research is important.   We often speak of a virtuous circle.  Within a virtuous circle, theory informs practice and the findings from practice feedback to confirm the theory or to modify it.

We also think that it is important to test out new interventions using robust methods.  The gold standard method is the randomized controlled trial (often referred to as RCT).  In an RCT, children are randomly allocated to receive a treatment (or not) and their progress is monitored relative to that of the untreated group.  It is only when the ‘treated’ group can be shown to have developed better skills that we can say an intervention works.  It is important when assessing whether or not to adopt a treatment method, to find out what the evidence is for its efficacy, and what the size of gains might be expected as a result of the intervention.

The website presents the findings of interventions we have completed or which are in progress.  We also present tests and resources designed for teachers who are supporting children struggling with reading or language.

For those who are interested, the website also includes more information on our basic research. Using this, we’re designing further interventions to help children with language difficulties – so please keep checking back.

We hope that you enjoy the site,

Charles and Maggie