Research Network

Research in Primary Languages (RiPL)

Children in a classroom sitting on the floor

We are a national network of primary language researchers

Our network of primary-level language researchers, practitioners and policy makers was set up and is run by LaDeLi at the University of Essex. The network is led by Professor Florence Myles. 

Our researchers have long been interested in how children in the primary classroom learn foreign languages. They have investigated a broad range of topics including what age is best for children to start learning another language, how individual differences impact on language learning, and how multilingual children learn other languages.

A particular focus of interest is the implementation of the statutory requirement to teach a foreign language to all children aged 7 to 11. Introduced in 2014, this requirement poses a real challenge when there are not enough teachers available with the necessary language expertise, curriculum time is already stretched and the time allocated to foreign language teaching by schools is thus limited. Over the last few years, we have run a series of workshops bringing together researchers, teachers and policy makers to discuss these issues.

All present at these events felt that this collaboration was very valuable and would benefit from being formalised. As a direct result, Research in Primary Languages (RiPL) was set up by Professor Florence Myles in 2017.

Our network

Our website

The RiPL website provides a wealth of information for individuals and organisations looking to understand more about primary language foreign teaching and learning. It is managed by experts from six different Universities. 

Our research

Our network produces one-page, reader-friendly summaries of published research articles and book chapters to make research findings more accessible to everyone interested in primary-school language teaching. We hope to promote relevant research in an informative, friendly and jargon-free manner which can be accessed by all. Visit the RiPL website to learn more about our research at RiPL.

We have also recently produced a paper in which we outline a strategy to overcome challenges currently faced by primary schools in delivering the statutory requirement for languages in schools. You can download the full paper (.pdf) or visit the policy section of the RiPL website to learn more.

RiPL newsletter

We publish a regular newsletter via the RiPL website which is full of resources and articles, helpful to teachers and educators involved in primary language learning.

CPD, training, workshops and conferences

RiPL are actively involved in promoting and hosting a number of events, ranging from professional development to international research conferences. View our range of events on the RiPL website.

Consultancy and advice

Our years of combined knowledge and expertise working in the field of primary language research has enabled us to offer consultancy services and advice to a number of organisations and individuals. If you would like to benefit from our experience you can contact us via the RiPL website.

Read the RiPL White Paper

Our white paper is the outcome of the RiPL Primary Languages Policy Summit, which took place on Friday 23rd November 2018 at the British Academy in London. In this paper we outline a strategy to overcome some of the challenges currently faced by primary schools in delivering the statutory requirement for languages in schools. Download the white paper (.pdf) or visit the policy section of the RiPL website to learn more.

A young child is learning to read from a book with a parent
Visit the RiPL network

Visit our network of researchers currently working at the forefront of primary language use and learning of primary languages in the classroom. If you are a teacher, educator, policy maker or researcher interested in our network then visit our website to learn more.

Visit the RiPL network
LaDeLi Logo (three faces in pink and white)
Contact us
Research in Primary Languages (RiPL) University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park, CO4 3SQ
Centre for Research in Language Development throughout the Lifespan (LaDeLi) University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, CO4 3SQ
Telephone: 01206 872083