Music to Promote Early Language

This MESHGuide has been written for parents, early years practitioners and professionals working with very young children, to highlight the importance of music in the first five years of life.

The starting point is listening in the womb, where a baby responds to its mother’s voice as early as 16 weeks gestation (Shahidullah & Hepper, 1992). The rhythm and intonation experienced by a baby before birth, is the foundation of language.

Extensive and longitudinal studies have shown the positive impact of music on brain development and this work is ongoing. Research has shown that early experiences have a significant impact on brain development and that there is a sensitive period within the first three and a half years of a child’s life (Sharma et al. 2009). The first twelve months of life are critical for developing the sensory pathways, language and cognitive function (Nelson, 2000) and the rate at which the brain grows and develops in the first year of life, is greater than at other time after birth (Kretschmann et al. 1986).

Music is a tool for learning language and research has shown that music in the early years can benefit all areas of development.

Educational Audiology

Ed Audiology

An Educational Audiologist fulfils the unique role of providing expertise and liaison between education and  health professionals, to improve outcomes for children and young people who are deaf (CYPD) and provide families and other professionals with timely, empowering, ongoing support to meet the needs of their child.

Aims of this MESHGuide are to

  • increase understanding of the role of an Educational Audiologist

  • highlight its importance as part of an educational authorities’ provision for CYPD.

  • provide information about training and professional registration requirements to those considering career options, particularly in the UK

  • highlight research contributions to the field written by educational audiologists which can be found amongst various following subject headings, in particular ‘Dissertations’

The level of Educational Audiology input and duties varies widely between different countries and between different areas within countries such as in the UK.This MESHGuide is authored largely from the UK perspective, while resources from other countries are included where possible. It is hoped that this MESHGuide will enable Services supporting CYPD to consider their provision and its development.

Terminology about hearing impairment varies as well.  In this MESHGuide, mainly UK nomenclature is used where ‘deaf’ can refer to any level of hearing loss.

Deaf Education in the Global South

understand hearing loss

This MESHGuide has been written for teachers and professionals in deaf education, professionals in special needs, audiologists, non-government-organisations (NGO), parents, trainers, headteachers in developing countries (also known as the Global South), trustees of charities and NGO groups supporting deaf education and teacher-training institutes in developing countries.

It has been designed to cover a range of aspects associated with deaf education in low and middle income countries (also known as the Global South). It aims to provide all individuals interested in deaf education provision in low and middle income countries with research and case studies, when possible, that can be conducted by peers from developing countries. This will raise the profile of professional colleagues in these areas and develop a ‘lived experience’ perspective in addition to studies from researchers outside of the country. It is intended to support and develop a literature base and network across a diversity range of countries.

Understanding Hearing Loss

understand hearing loss

Listening starts in the womb. At 24 weeks gestation the bones of the middle ear are fully formed. At 30 weeks a baby hears the rhythm and intonation of speech, can access some vowel sounds in the womb and recognises their mother’s voice (Crystal, 2010).

Hearing loss can now be diagnosed at birth and studies have shown that early diagnosis, combined with early fitting of amplification and early support, results in language skills in line with peers (Yoshinaga-Itano, 2006).

This MESHGuide has been designed to provide clear information about the nature and degree of hearing loss and the impact that a hearing loss has on speech access. It provides an overview of different types of amplification and communcation needs. Practical advice for minimising the impact of a hearing loss and improving the listening environment are included. Links to many publications from the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) have been collated in an easily accessible way and links to important documents on the English Government website for applying for Disability Living Allowance have been brought together for ease of access.

Natural Aural Approach

Natural Aural Approach

This MESHGuide has been written for:

  • Parents and other family members and friends
  • Mainstream teachers and support workers, including SENCos
  • Teachers of the Deaf in training,
  • Medical professionals including GPs, audiologists and speech and language therapists, health visitors
  • Early years practitioners

This resource explains the detail of the approach and the underpinning research.  This is part of a series of MESHGuides designed to help parents make an informed choice about communication approaches for their deaf child.

British Sign Language (BSL)

This MESHGuide has been created to inform a range of professionals and the general public about British Sign Language.  It considers the history of signed communication as the language tool for deaf people and its use in education.  It is hoped that parents of newly diagnosed deaf childern will be informed about the use of BSL and the educational implications and outcomes, to enable them to make choices about their approach to language development and communication for their child.

Numeracy for All (VSO)

Numeracy for all

This MESHGuide has been developed and checked by members of the MESH Numeracy for All Editorial Board. It provides collective wisdom of experienced teachers and researchers, supported by a summary of existing research on Mathematics and the development of Numeracy for All. We invite readers to expand the Guide by submitting case studies and by drawing our attention to relevant research and advice.

Early Childhood Education in Emergencies (in partnership with VSO)

This MESHGuide has been developed and checked by members of the MESH Early Years Editorial Board. It provides collective wisdom of experienced teachers and researchers, supported by a summary of existing research on early years education and child development. Contributors draw on evidence and experience in more than ten countries, developed and developing, including with children in crisis situations in Africa, Asia, and with refugees in the UK. We invite readers to expand the Guide by submitting case studies and by drawing our attention to relevant research and advice.

Germs: Health Education/Science for Early Years

The Germ’s Journey MESH Guide reports on the use of interactive resources to teach children about microbiology, hand-hygiene and infection control. The guide demonstrates the need for education in this area, science for young children and how using an integrated interactive approach with specifically design educational resources can increase children’s understanding in this topic area.

Cued Speech

For any interested parties including families and professionals who wish to understand more about the system of Cued Speech and how it gives deaf children (and adults) a way to lip-read with almost 100% accuracy thereby enabling them to develop a fluent mental model of a spoken language; integrate new vocabulary; improve their own pronunciation and be able to develop literacy skills in the same way as hearing peers. The MG provides the theory and research supporting the development and use of Cued Speech.