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KESS 2 East Master of Research : Evaluating a dialogic book-sharing training for early years practitioners

   Centre for Evidence Based Early Intervention

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  Dr Margiad Williams  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Project ID: BUK2E078

Annual Stipend: £11,702

Application Deadline: 15th July 2022

Dialogic book-sharing is an interactive form of shared reading in which the adult follows the child’s interest, asks open questions, repeats and expands on the child’s responses, and provides praise and encouragement for the child’s participation. This increases children’s interest in books and encourages their attention and language skills. Research evidence for dialogic book-sharing shows significant benefits for children’s expressive vocabulary and oral language skills as well as child cognitive development.

In the UK, approximately a third of children are not reaching their developmental milestones for language, social, emotional, and physical skills and are consequently not reaching their full academic potential. At least 50% of children living in socially disadvantaged areas are entering school with additional learning needs. Without added support, many of these children have poor long-term outcomes in terms of academic underachievement, mental health difficulties and lifelong challenges including unemployment. The ongoing covid pandemic has further exacerbated this trend with children entering school needing more support than in previous years, particularly for language and communication skills. The need to develop children’s communication skills has been identified in a Welsh Government report highlighting that the speech, language, and communication needs of two-thirds of Welsh children are not being met.

Policy across the UK has focused on professionalising the child workforce, raising quality, and integrating services in response to findings from projects such as the Effective Provision of Preschool Education (EPPE) project. The EPPE project showed significant benefits of high-quality early years provision in improving child outcomes. However, many early years practitioners such as classroom support staff and childcare workers have limited access to training in evidence-based strategies.

Researchers at the Centre for Evidence Based Early Intervention (CEBEI) have been working with local services for many years with the aim of improving child and family outcomes. The purpose of this project is to evaluate a one-day dialogic book-sharing training with a sample of early years practitioners. It will explore the acceptability of the training as well as practitioner confidence in using the techniques in their existing work with young children. Students will also use observation techniques to determine whether/how the skills taught are being used.

For further information on this project, please contact Dr Margiad Williams ([Email Address Removed]) or Professor Judy Hutchings ([Email Address Removed]). Expected start date of 1st October 2022.

To apply for this studentship, please e-mail a CV and a covering letter to [Email Address Removed] and cc to Penny Dowdney [Email Address Removed]. The closing date for applications is 15th July 2022.

KESS 2 East is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for East Wales.

Due to ESF funding, eligibility restrictions apply to this scholarship. To be eligible, the successful candidate will need to be resident in East Wales on University on registration and must have the right to work in the region on qualification.


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