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ELCISS aims to enhance language and communication in secondary school children with primary language and communication impairment through narrative/storytelling and vocabulary enrichment.

Four Assessments Points

There was a total of four assessment points in the study. Direct measures of verbal and non-verbal abilities were gathered at times B, D, F and H. Educational outcomes from SATS for English at end of year 6 were used to initially recruit the cohort.

In addition SATS in English, Math and Science were used at the end of years 6 and 9 to explore changes in performance using educational outcome measures (times A and H). This measure provided information on the impact of the intervention on educational outcomes.

Assessments were administered to all participants at time B who met the subject selection criteria after the SATS screening. At this point further diagnostic assessment for language impairment were undertaken. The assessment phase was repeated again after 6 months at time C. This provided a double baseline measure before therapy was introduced.

The third assessment point at time F took place immediately after therapy for groups A-C and after a 10-week pause for group D, the deferred treatment group. The final assessments measured the maintenance of therapy effects for groups A-C. For group D it measured post therapy changes. Assessors were blind to group membership.

Standardised and non-standardised language measures targeting specific aspects of narrative and vocabulary were assessed as well as control measures, where change was not predicted. Service users (students, teachers, TAs) were asked for their views on the therapy and its impact on classroom performance through questionnaires.

The TAs and teachers' knowledge of language impairment and strategies to improve language was explored through questionnaires.

Outcome measures were student based (standardised assessments, student questionnaires and teacher/ TA and parent questionnaires), teacher/TA/therapist based (questionnaires exploring the understanding and awareness of language and communication, language impairment, impact of the language impairment on education, storytelling and vocabulary training) and school based (use of SATS results to assess impact of intervention on educational outcomes, staff questionnaire exploring how training had impacted on daily practice of staff and recommendations for future practice).