Supporting young children’s language through books and play: exploring the evidence and initial findings from Ireland
This Research Conversation features Dr Sinéad McNally from the School of Language, Literacy and Early Childhood Education in conversation with Dr Jenny Gibson from the University of Cambridge, discussing 'Supporting young children’s language through books and play: exploring the evidence and initial findings from Ireland'.
About Dr Sinéad McNally
Dr Sinéad McNally is Assistant Professor in Psychology (birth to six) at the School of Language, Literacy and Early Childhood Education at DCU’s Institute of Education. Sinéad is a developmental psychologist and has been researching children’s early development for over 15 years. She is a former scholar with the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology for her doctoral research on Autism and a former Research Fellow with the national longitudinal study of children, Growing Up in Ireland.
Sinéad was a visiting Research Fellow at Boston University in 2018 and an Institute of Education Research Fellow in 2019. Her programme of research on the contexts for early language, play and science learning has attracted funding from the Science Foundation Ireland and the Irish Research Council. Sinéad teaches child development and research methods for early childhood education, and her research-led teaching is informed by international collaborations in the UK, USA and Italy.
In conversation with: Dr Jenny Gibson
Dr Jenny Gibson is Senior Lecturer in Psychology and Education at the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge and a Lead Researcher at the PEDAL Centre for Research on Play in Education, Development and Learning. She is a qualified Speech and Language Therapist and her research expertise is in autism and developmental language disorders and their impact on mental health and social relationships in childhood.
Focus of Research Conversation
This research conversation with Dr Gibson will explore findings from Sinead’s fellowship research on the role of shared book reading in children’s language development. We know that literacy practices in early childhood are an important way of supporting children’s language and literacy skills but what is the research evidence in support of shared book reading with very young children? The discussion will also explore Irish and international findings on the relation between books and play and children’s language development throughout early childhood, and will draw out the implications of this research for educators and parents of young children.