The Language for Learning study is a large-scale randomised controlled trial, nested within a population-based cohort of 1464 children in Melbourne. The RCT tested whether a population-based intervention in 4 year olds with language delay led to improved language and associated outcomes at ages 5, 6, and 9. In addition, language data from the whole cohort will enable researchers to better understand trajectories of language development and impairment throughout childhood.


Study name  Language For Learning 
Study abbreviation  L4L
Current principal investigator/s

Prof Melissa Wake

Prof Sharon Goldfeld

Prof Sheena Reilly

Dr Penny Levickis

Prof James Law

Dr Cristina McKean

Dr Fiona Mensah

Associate Professor Lisa Gold

Ms Ha Le

Current project manager Prof Melissa Wake
Cohort representative (study contact) Prof Melissa Wake
Postal address

Centre for Community Child Health

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

50 Flemington Road

Parkville, VIC 3052

Phone  +61  3 9345 5761
Primary Institution Centre for Community Child Health, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
Collaborating Institution/s

Royal Children’s Hospital

Newcastle University, UK

Deakin University

Griffith University

Major funding sources



Victorian Department of Education and Training

Study website
Key reference Wake M, Levickis P, Tobin S, Zens N, Law J, Gold L, Ukoumunne OC, Goldfeld S, Le, HND, Skeat J, Reilly S.  Improving outcomes of preschool language delay in the community: Protocol for the Language for Learning randomised controlled trial. BMC Pediatrics, 2012;12:96(1-11). doi: 10.1186/1471-2431-12-96
Are data available outside study team? Yes – Approval to be sought from study PIs
Study focus Language development and language delay
Sampling frame Participants from the Let’s Read and Let’s Learn Language studies (based in Melbourne, Australia) were invited to participate in Language for Learning.
Year commenced 2010
Commencement sample

1464 (whole cohort)

200 RCT

Intergenerational? No 
Imaging No 
Biosamples? Saliva
Ethics approvals or requirements?

This project only (Specific consent)

Future research related to this project (Extended consent)

Any future research (Unspecified consent)


Wave Year Age (mean, range) Eligible sample
1  2010 4 years

Whole sample: 1464

RCT: 200 (Intervention 99, Control 101)

2  2011 5 years  RCT: Intervention 91, Control 88
3  2012 6 years RCT: Intervention 89, Control 83
4  2015 – 2016 9 years

Whole sample: 491