Teaching for text comprehension: Supporting young second-language learners' text comprehension in urban multiethnic preschools in Norway

Prosjektperiode: 01/08/2012 - 31/12/2016

Institusjon: Pedagogisk forskningsinstitutt, Universitetet i Oslo

Prosjektleder: Vibeke Grøver

Program: Praksisrettet utdanningsforskn


Although we know that the competencies (e.g. oral language skills) young children develop during the preschool years are of major importance for their reading comprehension and academic success in school, little is known about how preschools may prepare c hildren for their future learning and text comprehension. Particularly, there is a dearth of research on how to effectively enhance the emergent literacy growth of young second-language (L2) learners. The present project aims to fill this void. Built on a conceptual model that considers L2 text comprehension as a multidimensional and dynamic construct, an experimental intervention study was designed to support young L2 learners' text comprehension by developing their oral language skills, world knowledge, reasoning skills and emotion comprehension in preschool. Approximately 250 4-year-old L2 learners attending 45 different urban multiethnic preschool classrooms will be randomly assigned to one intervention or one control condition. The intervention class rooms will work with texts in thematic units spread across the pre-final year of preschool. A subsample of parents in the intervention group will be offered the opportunity to work with the texts at home in the first language. The teachers (and parents) i n the intervention classrooms receive support in how to conduct engaging conversations with the children. All recruited children will be pretested on measures of oral language skills, world knowledge, reasoning skills, emotion comprehension and text compr ehension. Follow-up testing will be conducted at the end of the intervention and during the subsequent year in preschool. By proposing a broader approach to children's learning outcomes resulting from being exposed to challenging text conversations, the p roject aims to gain knowledge to inform professional development programs that are both effective for young L2 learners and appear relevant to Norwegian preschools.