Observing early language development among children from low socioeconomic backgrounds using e-LIPS

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Links between preschool language and later literacy highlight the need for early intervention aimed at closing the poverty-related attainment gap. A critical
factor in this is the capacity to accurately chart changes in early language to
evaluate intervention efficacy. This study explores the potential of an
observational language tool for this purpose, e-LIPS (Early Language in Play
Settings), in comparison with a more traditional language assessment, CELF
(Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals-Preschool 2 UK). Observational
methods have the advantage of being compatible with the child-centred
approach favoured by Early Years practitioners. Longitudinal data were collected from 50 children (22 female) at the beginning and end of the nursery year with socio-economic status (SES) measured using the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation. The starting mean age was 42 months (SD= 3). Controlling for age, e-LIPS subscales (pragmatics, receptive, expressive) showed moderate to strong correlations with corresponding CELF scores at each point. Importantly, children identified as language-impaired using CELF had significantly lower scores on e-LIPS. Expressive language scales revealed the most differentiation between SES groups after controls for age and non-verbal ability. Theoretical and practical
implications for understanding SES language differences and their impact
on early literacy will be explored.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2017
EventUKLA 53rd International Conference: Language, Literacy and Class: Connections and Contradictions - University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 30 Jun 20172 Jul 2017


ConferenceUKLA 53rd International Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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