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Speech and Language in the Classroom

The Blog

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

The Link Magazine Issue 3! Read it now!

The Link issue 3 is out this week!

Our latest edition of The Link magazine has been posted to all schools and is due to arrive with you this week. It is addressed FAO SENCo so look out for it on his/her desk or in the staffroom.

This time we have articles about talking for different purposes, supporting language in the classroom, making your school EAL friendly and the impact of speech sound difficulties.

In 2015 we are launching our CPD seminars focusing on language in the classroom. Find out more online at

We have more free resources and you can still download all those from earlier issues as well.

Read the magazine online here.

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Friday, 19 September 2014

Speech Link visit to the RCSLT conference in Leeds!

This week was the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists conference. It was held at Leeds University. One of our directors and speech & language therapist Julia Ritchie, 3 other speech and language therapists at Speech Link Multimedia Ltd (Susan McMackin, Derry Patterson & Heather Stevens), our marketing manager Judith McMillan, and myself attended the conference.

We were delighted to be Headline sponsor of the event.

Over the two days, our SALTs attended talks and workshops about recent developments and themes in the speech and language therapy world. We met lots of new faces at our stand too.

The first day of the event ended with two emotional, inspiring talks from Shane and Trevor, both who have communication difficulties. In the photo below is Shane Dangar, he has Asperger's Syndrome. He is involved in raising awareness of communication needs through the 'Raising your Game' project.

The evening's social event put on a tasty buffet, and there was even some dancing (spot the Speech Link employees!)

Day 2 Susan McMackin who developed the Secondary Language Link package was taking delegates through the story of the development of the package.

We enjoyed several presentations throughout the day from SALTs and others, who told us all about their research into interventions for SLCN.

And after a long drive home and several rounds of Name games in the car, we are back in the office today.

Hope you enjoy the photos. There was also lots of Tweeting going on, so check out our Twitter page!

Sarah Wall, Speech and Language Therapist, Speech Link Multimedia Ltd.

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Friday, 5 September 2014

What's new in Language Link?

Welcome back...
Another exciting year dawns!
During this term we will be trialling new test questions as part of our ongoing research and development. This is part of creating a Language Link assessment which adjusts itself to the level of the pupil and so is quicker to complete.
So watch out for 3 Extra questions which have been added to the reception test. These 3 questions will be different every time but will make no difference to the final test score, being ignored by the marking script. The questions will range from easy to quite difficult. Some of the items will be clearly language based, others will be more literacy or numeracy based. We are particularly interested in how underlying language relates to the acquisition of these skills and will share these results with you in due course. Treat these 3 new questions the same as you treat the other Language Link questions, by not helping the child in any way, and not omitting them.
Other changes to the Language Link packages...
We have listened to your feedback and have been busy making some important changes to the Language Link packages over the summer. Here’s a breakdown of the changes we have made:
-Introduction of a new General Language Group. You will find this in the language group section. We have been trialling this group over the past year and we think it will be beneficial as a group for all. We are recommending this group for all year R children identified by the Language Link screen. It covers many areas of language and is to be used as a language enrichment group. Don’t panic – all the other groups are still there so you can still continue to use the groups as you did before too.
-There are some new parent handouts/activities for pupils identified by the screen, and those taking part in the General Language Group
-We have added a document about vocabulary skills, you will find this in the Working On Vocabulary section, click on ‘structured approach’.
-We have made some improvements to the Introduction to Language Groups section on the website, providing you with detailed information to answer your questions, such as ‘how many pupils should I include in my group?’, ‘how often should I run the group?’, and ‘what do I do next?’
-We often get asked “What do I do when I have finished running my language group?” We have added some guidance on the last session plan of every group, and you will find this guidance under the language group 'print materials' tables too.
-We have put our Pupil views and Parent/carers views sheets in the resources table. These have been available on The Link magazine website, and are now on the Language Link website (find them in the Resources table).
-The EAL section has been updated, including the addition of two new checklists for EAL pupils joining your school.
Following the release of the new SEN code of practice in England, which is in force from 1st Sept, we have made these changes:
-We have made a change to the categories of choice when you add a pupil. We have left the SEN categories of ‘School Action, School Action Plus, Statement’ in but also added two categories ‘SEN support’ and ‘EHC Plan’ in line with the changes to the code of practice in England.
-You now have the option of selecting if the pupil is eligible for a Pupil Premium Grant, as well as Free School Meals.
Your feedback allows us to make improvements like these. Thank you to all our schools.
We hope you find these improvements useful. We welcome any feedback on the changes, and as always the Help Desk are available to answer any of your questions.
Call 0333 577 0784 or email
Sarah Wall, Speech & Language Therapist at Speech Link Multimedia Ltd.

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