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Distinguished Speaker Lecture. Prof Judy Clegg: Children’s communication and their life chances

research talks
Wednesday 12 June 2024, 15:00-17:00 GMT
Clothworkers North Building LT (G.12) + LIVE STREAMED
Register here

Distinguished Speaker 2024: Prof Judy Clegg, University of Sheffield


Children’s communication and their life chances

In this talk, we will focus on the most vulnerable children to understand how developmental differences in children’s speech, language and communication impact on their life chances. Research focusing on children growing up in social disadvantage, looked after care and with significant learning and health needs show how their speech, language and communication is essential to their life chances (Clegg et al., 2021; Hopkins et al., 2023). Identifying the most effective intervention delivery to support children’s communication and promote their life chances is essential. Recent research supports the effectiveness of communication interventions delivered by trained early years and school practitioners at scale (Spencer et al., In review; Clegg et al., 2020; Clegg et al., In review). The INTERACT trial will highlight the challenges of our research for our most vulnerable children and young people. Recommendations for promoting the life chances of all children with developmental differences in their communication are highlighted.


Judy Clegg is a Professor of Speech and Language Therapy in the School of Allied Health Professions, Nursing and Midwifery, University of Sheffield. She is the Professional Lead for Speech and Language Therapy and Director of Innovation. She is a Trustee of Speech and Language UK and co-editor of Child Language Teaching and Therapy. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists.

Twitter: @JudyClegg2 | Website


The lecture will be followed by a roundtable discussion:

  • Dr Paula Clarke: Associate Professor in Psychological Approaches to Childhood and Inclusive Education at the University of Leeds.
  • Hannah Bond: Senior Lecturer in Speech and Language Therapy at Leeds Beckett.
  • Nathan Loynes: Programme Manager for Child and Family Studies at the University of Leeds.

After the lecture and Q&A there will be a reception.


This event is open to all. Register here.

Key References

Clegg, J., Crawford, E., Spencer, S., Mathews, D. (2021). Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) in young people leaving care in England: study profiling the language, literacy and communication abilities of young people transitioning from care to independence. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18, 8, article number 4107 10.3390/ijerph18084107

Clegg, J., Rohde, C. McLachlan, H., Elks, L., & Hall, A. (2020). Evaluating the Elklan Talking Matters Programme: exploring the impact of a training programme for early years professions on pre-school children’s language development. Child Language Teaching & Therapy, 36, 2, 108-125

Hopkins, T., & Clegg, J., (2023). Examining the literacy abilities of young people with language difficulties who are serving community orders within the youth justice service. Youth Justice, 23, 2, 226-242