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  1. Continuing Professional Development
Study at City

Child Development & Communication CPD

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Course overview

This course will be aimed at Intermediaries and other professionals working in the justice system who wish to develop their understanding of child development, the development of communication skills and how cognitive and linguistic development influences the completeness, coherence and accuracy of children’s evidence.  It will offer an opportunity to revise, update and discuss.

Intermediaries who do not work with children currently or have not done so for many years should be aware that in order to extend their skill sets and to fulfil competency requirements course attendance must be combined with additional CPD (e.g. nursery placement) before pursuing work as an Intermediary with the child population.

Course structure:

  • What is cognition? What is language?  Are cognition and language discrete entities?  Does cognition influence language?
  • Standardised testing – do the numbers add up?
  • Impact of a language difficulty
  • Symbolism – creating a shared language
  • Conceptual development and how it impacts evidence (e.g. prepositions, time, theory of mind, body parts)
  • Successful Communication – Child, Adult, Context
  • Every reasonable step – case law and notable cases
  • Asking the right questions in the right way

The course will be run in the form of a small group workshop with high levels of participation and sharing of knowledge and ideas. Prepared slides/handouts guide the process rather than impart information. The training will involve different ways of presenting information in order to consider people’s different learning preferences and styles.

The City Law School and the School of Health Sciences will deliver this CPD course in conjunction with Intermediaries for Justice (IfJ). This course is for IfJ members only and will be delivered by 'Olwen Cockell' and 'Professor Lucy Henry'.

For further information on IfJ and how to become a member please visit IfJ's website.

Course outcomes

Course outcomes

Having attended the course participants will have:

  • A basic understanding of how we think, learn, process and respond to the world around us
  • A basic understanding of the symbolic nature of language and how we use a shared symbolic code to communicate and interact
  • An appreciation of the merits and drawbacks of standardised assessments
  • An understanding of the pervasive impact of a language difficulty
  • An understanding of the effects of a child’s developing language ability upon ‘complete, coherent and accurate evidence’
  • Knowledge of practical ways to elicit a child’s ‘best’ evidence
  • An understanding of notable case law and how it has influenced the cross-examination in recent years