(Source: East Lansing Public Library)

Any teacher at a Title I school can confirm that children do not start school on a level playing field. Some children walk into Kindergarten already reading on a third-grade level; whereas, other students walk into that same classroom without any knowledge of a single Pre-Primer sight word. While language and speech delays can occur in any socio-economic environment for various reasons, not surprisingly, a new three-year study from Great Britain shows that at-risk students from lower socio-economic backgrounds are twice as likely to experience speech and language development delays.

Some at-risk students more “at risk” than others

The research further reveals that not all at-risk students experience the same level of language development delays. Children from ethnic minority backgrounds show a greater likelihood for delays compared to non-minority peers, and boys more so than girls.

The research findings “have huge implications for practice, and suggest children’s needs are being missed,” said lead researcher Professor Geoff Lindsay in a press release. “There is a higher likelihood of children in some schools in socially deprived areas having problems learning language or developing speech,” he added. “This reflects the lack of opportunity within these communities. Early intervention can help to overcome that. Putting resources into those schools is important.”

Elementary curriculum uses music to reach at-risk students

Created by Kindermusik International, ABC Music & Me uses the proven cognitive benefits of music to boost the school readiness skills, including language and early literacy development, of at-risk students. When used as an elementary curriculum, at-risk students  experience gains in phonological and phonemic awareness and vocabulary acquisition. For at-risk students, we understand that the learning must extend to the home environment to achieve maximum results. So, we include materials—in English and Spanish—to increase parent involvement in education.

To learn more about using ABC Music & Me as an elementary curriculum with at-risk students, including English Language Learners, email us at info@abcmusicandme.com. We can also show you how ABC Music & Me aligns with Title I Funding.

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