Welcome to ELCISS!

We are about language for learning, learning for language.

The ELCISS programme aims to enhance language and communication in secondary school students. It provides training to teaching staff on different ways of supporting the learning and accessing of the curriculum for students in secondary schools.

It increases our understanding of different levels of language and communication in secondary schools and provides different support systems for the students, teaching staff and parents.


Current news

  • ATTENTION: ELCISS Vocabulary Enrichment Intervention Programme now available...more details
  • ATTENTION: ELCISS Narrative Intervention Programme now available...more details
  • ATTENTION: Please note that the Measuring Outcomes Across Time (MOAT) (Sohail and Joffe, in press) tool is due to be published by Speechmark publishers mid 2013. The MOAT tool is designed to assess students before and after intervention by measuring performance and improvement as perceived by the assessor. This consists of a series of rating scales that explore areas of difficulties young people with speech, language or communication needs (SLCN), or eating and drinking difficulties may experience. The tool can be completed by the individual with SLCN, the parent, teacher, or anyone else involved.

    We are currently presenting the outcomes and findings of the ELCISS research programme at a number of conferences:

    Primary Care Conference 2012, NEC, Birmingham.
    May 2012: See www.primarycare2010.co.uk for more details

    Lost for Words: Lost for Life Conference, City University London.
    June 2011: See www.city.ac.uk/health/research/research-areas/lcs/events/lost-for-words-lost-for-life for more details

    Afasic Cymru Conference
    September 2011: Communication Counts

  • On the 12th July 2012, City University London hosted the RCSLT special interest group for older children and young adults with speech, language and communication needs. The guest speaker was Professor Marilyn Nippold from the University of Oregon, USA. Professor Nippold gave a talk on reading comprehension in children and adolescents with language impairment. The event was followed by an evening reception and celebration of the ELCISS project.
  • The local education authority of Redbridge requested the continuation of the ELCISS project in its secondary schools. Four secondary schools were invited to participate in the first instance. The programme began in September 2011. A randomised control intervention study has been employed where pre-selected students aged between 11-14 years were assessed and randomly assigned to one of three intervention groups; narrative, vocabulary enrichment and a delayed group. Teaching assistants/ learning support assistants have delivered both narrative and vocabulary enrichment intervention programmes to the students. The study has employed outcome measures from the student, school and parent perspective, assessing cognitive, language and literacy performance both before and after intervention.
  • The ELCISS programme is now running in secondary schools in various boroughs. For more information and if you are interested in setting up the programmes in your school or local authority, contact Victoria Joffe on v.joffe@city.ac.uk

Speech, Language and Communication Needs of Secondary Schools Students

Secondary schools place a high demand on the language skills of adolescents. Students must be able to learn complex and abstract vocabulary, write in different styles such as poetry and analysis and adapt to the varying teaching styles of their teachers. This noticeable increase in language skills places considerable pressure on the adolescent with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN). For more information about SLCN in adolescents you can download an article by Dr Victoria Joffe that was published in Foster Families magazine. Link here.

Current Status of the ELCISS Programme

The main part of the ELCISS research programme, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, ended in December 2009. We are now in the process of analysing the data and preparing manuscripts for publication in practitioner and research publications.

The data is looking exciting and preliminary findings suggest that the ELCISS programmes were effective in improving secondary school students' language and communication. For more information you can download "Secondary school is not too late to support and enhance language and communication…" an article written by Dr Victoria Joffe and published in the Afasic Newsletter, Winter Edition 2011. Link here.

Exploring the project

The ELCISS project explored the prevalence, nature and type of language and communication impairment in secondary school students - a significantly under-researched and under-serviced client population.

We investigated the effectiveness of two speech and language therapy (SALT) interventions in improving language and communication skills and also explored the effectiveness of different levels of training support given to teaching staff. Read more

Workshops in participating schools

A series of workshops are still being conducted in secondary schools targeting mainstream teaching and support staff in the 21 participating schools in the Redbridge and Barking and Dagenham Boroughs.

These workshops are taking the form of twilight insets and half and full day workshops. The teaching assistants who have participated in the interventions are involved in the workshops and help disseminate the outcomes of the ELCISS programme.

The workshops summarise the findings and outcomes of the ELCISS programme as well as provide information on speech, language and communication development and impairment, highlight key markers for identification and provide a range of strategies to enhance language and communication in the classroom.

The Communication Trust has provided additional funding for these workshops. See the The Communication Trust website for more details. Additional schools, local authorities and primary care trusts have subsequently come on board and are involved in running the ELCISS programmes. Do contact us if you are interested in adopting the ELCISS programmes in your work place.