Early Language in Victoria Study (ELVS)

The Early Language in Victoria Study (ELVS) aims to learn more about how language develops from infancy (eight months) to adolescence and in particular, why language development is more difficult for some children. This information will be helpful in developing early intervention and prevention programs for children.

What has happened so far?

Recruitment: ELVS Babies
The Early Language in Victoria Study (ELVS) began in September 2003, and more than 1900 families joined ELVS when their babies were eight to 10 months old. ELVS continued following the children until September 2007, when they had all turned four.

ELVS Children
In 2008, ELVS families were invited to participate in a new and exciting phase of the study. The aim was to understand language and reading development in the early school years. We are delighted that many families have agreed to continue on our ELVS journey with us.

ELVS Adolescents
In 2012, the ELVS team were successful in receiving funding to follow up all the children now they are adolescents. Almost 1000 children were close to their 11th birthday, and parents and teachers provided data via questionnaires about communication and literacy skills. In 2016, researchers continued to collect data as the ELVS participants turned 13 years old. This is helping provide some of the most comprehensive data ever gathered to examine how language continues to develop as children move into adolescence and settle in to secondary school.

What’s next?
ELVS families have so far helped researchers understand many aspects of communication development, including:

  • Language
  • Stuttering
  • Genes and language development
  • Multilingual development
  • Speech sound disorders
  • Links between memory and language
  • Autistic spectrum disorder

ELVS is very lucky to have such committed families taking part over the years!