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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.


  1. Stage 1 recruitment (Time A):
    All children take National Curriculum standard assessment tests (SATS) at the end of year 6 and year 9 in English, Maths and Science. The national levels of expected attainment in key stage 2 (year 6) is level 4 as recommended by the government.

    Any score below level 4 is outside the expected range. Previous research shows that students with language impairments score below the national average across all three core curricular subjects. All year 7 students from secondary schools in Redbridge and Barking and Dagenham with SATS English scores of level 4c or lower in year 6 were recruited to stage 1 of the project.

    Students with average language abilities, more general learning difficulties and those with English as a second language were included in the cohort at this point. These students were filtered out at time B. Participants were required to have English as their main language in their social/family life.
  2. Stage 2 recruitment (Time B):
    To ensure that students recruited to the study had a primary language impairment, an in-depth assessment (time B) included the screening of verbal and non-verbal abilities. All students meeting a more specific language impairment continued in the study. All the students were recruited at the beginning of year 7 so the age range was restricted to 11.0-12.0 years.