Language stimulation is offered for multi-lingual children who are expected to benefit from it. Language stimulation activities are usually practiced in small groups, so that the individual child has the opportunity to interact with a language therapist as well as other children. Typical activities are games, playing, reading aloud, singing, rhyming, theme work, eating and clean-up. In this project we examine the quality of such interaction, i.e. to which degree it manages to stimulate the children’s language development.
Language stimulation is launched in Denmark as a specific initiative for a special group of children. But to what extent is language stimulation special and how? Which practices can be considered as potentially beneficial to the language stimulation, and which ones cannot? These questions contribute to gaining insight into general language pedagogy for preschoolers but also specifically into the target group of multi-lingual children. In addition to providing insight into language pedagogy for kindergarten children, especially multilingual children, the project focuses on how the professional and the children orient in different ways to the activities as meaningful, including how they orient differently to the activities as linguistically developing. Among other things the results can be compared to research concerning language stimulation in nursery age in general. Specifically, they can be compared to the linguistic skills demanded before starting school. Furthermore, our project raises a discussion about differences between language stimulation in daycare settings and teaching second and foreign language in school and for adults.
Our data material primarily consists of video recordings of language stimulation situations which we analyze in terms of conversation structure by means of multimodal conversation analysis. Besides this we include ethnographic observation and informal interviews. We examine different kinds of language pedagogic practice such as using games and explaining mathematical terms. Additionally, we look into conversation structures in which objects nearby are labelled.