The project is about supporting children’s language development. A good language development makes it easier, learning to read and write, which supports a child’s education and later success opportunities in life. Unfortunately, there are many (vulnerable) children who begin at school with weak language skills. They are already an important step behind by the time they start elementary school. Language acquisition, to a high degree, depends on the language stimulation children receive.
Danish daycares have a broad focus on children’s learning with emphasis on social development, however, some children require a systematically focused language intervention in order to take advantage of their potential. We are adapting a successful American program, Read it again!, and testing it in 128 daycare centers. It is a systematically focused intervention, which supports children’s language and pre-literacy skills. The program is especially geared towards vulnerable mono- and bilingual children. The material is “systematic” in the sense of that it follows the way in which children learn language, while “focused” means that the child’s attention is directed towards the goal via an activity that holds the child’s involvement in the learning process. The project will also test whether a parallel intervention in the child’s home and early childhood educators’ professional development can strengthen the language development additionally. The project will give new knowledge and understanding of interventions in the Danish context and how educators best can support children’s individual needs. Knowledge of the degree to which a successful language program works well in another country/culture will contribute to international research in terms of how universal learning cultures are in the daycares.
The project is financed by The Danish Council for Strategic Research.