The Early Language in Victoria Study (ELVS) has been following the speech and language development of approximately 1900 children born during 2002 in Melbourne, Victoria (Australia) since they were 8 months of age.


ELVS is a longitudinal epidemiological study of the emerging communication, language and literacy skills of children and continues to follow this same group of children as they transition from adolescence to adulthood. ELVS is internationally unique in its coverage from the first year of life and in its depth of data from multi-source informant questionnaires, direct assessment in language-related dimensions (speech, vocabulary, fluency literacy, cognition), psycho-social and educational domains (social, emotional and behavioural development, quality of life, educational achievement, health care utilisation), and linkage to nationally acquired academic achievement data. ELVS was designed to better understand language development, trajectories from infancy through to middle childhood, the emergence of language difficulties, and factors that predict later outcomes.

Previous waves of this project were led by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in collaboration with the University of Melbourne, La Trobe University, Griffith University, and Deakin University. Please visit MCRI for further information about the earlier waves during infancy to middle childhood.

The Current Phase

In 2020, we began Phase II of this project when the participants were completing their final years of formal schooling. This follow up aims to find out more about how language continues to develop during the teenage years and into early adulthood. We re-recruited over 790 parents and 570 young people and will continue to collect multi-source data until 2024.

Phase II is being led by the University of Melbourne. In addition to the University of Melbourne, the current ELVS Investigator Team includes researchers from Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Newcastle University, and Griffith University.


The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has funded ELVS since 2002 and continues it's funding in Phase II of this study.