Development of early literacy in multilingual education

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For some time research has been done at the Radboud University Nijmegen on the effects of bilingual education on the development of vocabulary and phonological awareness in relation to lexical specificity in young children. In addition, two international projects have been conducted in this area in cooperation with the Ontario Institute for the Study of Education (Toronto, Canada). Expertisecentrum Nederlands has summarized these results in a brochure and supplemented them with recommendations for working with children in the first years of primary school.  

See the most important results in this animation about early literacy and multilingualism: 



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This publication is about vocabulary, awareness of sounds in words and learning to read in the context of multilingual education. Vocabulary and phonological awareness are important predictors for literacy development in young children. Moreover, recent studies show that especially the development of lexical specificity plays a crucial role in this process. Knowledge of the development of these aspects and their mutual correlation is relevant for teachers who are involved in teaching reading and spelling to young students in a multilingual education context. How does students’ multilingual development influence the development of early literacy? What is the effect of the development of different aspects of early literacy on the quality of their multilingual skills? And how can you use this knowledge in daily classroom practice?  

The brochure is free to download: Development of early literacy in multilingual education