The Early Language in Victoria Study (ELVS) has been following the speech and language development of a large group of children (>1900) born in the surrounds of Melbourne, Victoria (Australia) since they were 8 months of age. ELVS continues to follow this same group of children as they transition from middle childhood to adolescence. There are a number of ELVS sub-studies investigating different areas of communication development including: stuttering, autism and bilingual language development.

Year 2003-2004 2003-2004 2004-2005 2005-2006 2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009 2009-2010 2011-2012 2013-2014
Wave W1 W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 W10
Age <8 mths 12 mths 24 mths 3 yrs 4 yrs 5 yrs 6 yrs 7 yrs 9 yrs 11 yrs
# 1910 1759 1741 1647 1623 1002 1047 1189 1166 871
Behavioural problems
Education and childcare
General health
Media engagement Media engagement
Medications and supplements
Mental health
Neurocognitive development
Parenting Parenting Parenting
Physical activity and lifestyle
Resilience and wellbeing
Sleep Sleep
Speech, language and literacy
Temperament and personality
Study Summary
Study name Early Language in Victoria Study
Study abbreviation ELVS
Current principal investigator/s Professor Sheena Reilly
Current project manager Dr Fallon Cook
Primary Institution Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
Collaborating Institution/s University of Melbourne
La Trobe University
University of Sydney
Macquarie University, NSW
Deakin University
The Royal Children’s Hospital
Major funding sources National Health and Medical Research Council
Study website
Key reference for study (published study protocol) Reilly, S., Cook, F., Bavin, E.L., Bretherton, L., Cahir, P., Eadie, P., Gold, L., Mensah, F., Papadopoullos, S. and Wake, M. (2017). Cohort Profile: The Early Language in Victoria Study (ELVS). International Journal of Epidemiology, 10.1093/ije/dyx079dyx079-dyx079.  doi:
Are data available to others outside study team? Yes, in collaboration on a case by case basis and subject to ethics approval.
Study focus (e.g. social development) How language develops from infancy (8 months) to adolescence.
Sampling frame Maternal and Child Health Nurses approached all parents of babies aged 8-10 months of age, within six Local Government Areas of Melbourne, Australia.
Study type (e.g. randomised control trial, cohort, case-control) Longitudinal cohort study
Year commenced 2003
Ongoing recruitment? No
Commencement sample (N) 1910
Intergenerational (e.g. offspring)? No
Imaging (e.g. fMRI, ultrasound, retinal photograph)? MRI (sub-study, 2014 – )
Linkage (e.g. BioGrid, VPDC, NAPLAN, Medicare)? NAPLAN – grades 3, 5 and 7
Biosamples (e.g. buccal, blood, hair)? Saliva
Ethics approvals or requirements (e.g. specific, extended, unspecified, other)? This project only (Specific consent)
Future research related to this project (Extended consent)
Year Age (mean, range) Eligible sample (not deceased, not withdrawn)
2003 – 2004 8.5 months (5-11.3) 1910
2003 – 2004 12.1 months (10.7-19.9) 1759
2004 – 2005 24 months 1741
2005 – 2006 3 years of age 1647
2006 – 2007 4 years of age 1623
2008 5 years of age 1002
2009 6 years of age 1047
2010 – 2011 7 years of age 1189
2011 – 2012 9 years of age 1166
2013 – 2014 11 years of age 871
2015 – 2016 13 years of age TBD

Research Coordinator

Dr Fallon Cook

Ph: +613 9345 5484