TES talks to…language difficulties expert Dorothy Bishop
3rd February 2017
https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/br ... thy-bishop
The University of Oxford academic tells Joseph Lee that a change in the way her life’s work on language difficulties is being defined and communicated could lead to a huge number of struggling children finally getting the help they need
Her work has focused on one of the most common developmental disorders affecting children’s language and learning but, much to Dorothy Bishop’s frustration, very few people know what it is. “I would tell people what I worked on and no one had ever heard of it, which was ridiculous. This is quite a common developmental condition,” says Bishop, a professor of developmental neuropsychology at the University of Oxford.
Until recently, it was known as specific language impairment (SLI), and the term was used to describe children who struggled with language where there was often no other cause, such as deafness.
Studies show that two children in a typical class of 30 will be affected. In the classroom, they are likely to be the child who is quiet, doesn’t follow instructions or avoids starting classwork and homework. In discussions, they may be easily distracted, they may appear forgetful or they may respond unexpectedly to instructions.
Some students with these impairments look around and copy others’ actions or work when they don’t understand. They may also give explanations that are hard to understand, even if the speech sounds are clear, and might make mistakes with word order or tenses.