The findings from a randomized controlled trial of Let's Talk - an interactive intervention to support young children's language development - suggest that the intervention has a positive effect on narrative and vocabulary development.
The trial, conducted by Gillian Lake and Maria Evangelou, and published in European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, involved 94 three- to four-year-old children in early education settings in Oxfordshire. The children were randomly assigned to control or intervention groups and tested pre- and post-intervention on standardized vocabulary and narrative assessments. Children in the intervention group attended twice-weekly sessions over ten weeks, in groups of three to five children. The first session of the week was a group shared storybook reading session with a puppet, while the second weekly session consisted of a planned pretend play session based on the storybook read in the first session that week. Children in the control group completed age-appropriate early numeracy activities and games - also in groups of three to five children.
The results suggest that the intervention had a positive effect on the vocabulary of the children in the intervention group, with medium to large effect sizes, and also on their narrative ability.
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