Arc Universities

A pioneering study led by University of Bedfordshire to support children with language and communication needs – in collaboration with the Universities of Essex, York and the Open University – has just received £1.4m funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) for a new strand of the ‘E-PLAYS’ project.

E-PLAYS-2 (Enhancing Pragmatic Language skills for Young children with Social communication impairments) will help inform and shape the vital learning support provided by schools for children with social communication impairments and language needs.

Pioneered by researchers from the University of Bedfordshire’s Institute for Health Research (IHR), the E-PLAYS-2 project will evaluate the effectiveness of a fun, interactive game with the aim of improving communication in children with language difficulties.

The E-PLAYS game is played by children in pairs on inter-linking school laptops. The game aims to develop children’s perspective-taking skills and language abilities by developing their confidence during social interaction.

The four year study will take place in schools between now and August 2025. The study will involve over 1,000 children aged between five and seven years old, from primary schools across Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and North London.

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