Previous research has shown that children’s reading development can be stimulated with structured and playful language games from the age of six. In a current three-year study, researchers at the University of Gothenburg are exploring the effects of having children as young as four participate in such games.
The hypothesis is that young children who are actively stimulated in their development of so-called linguistic and phonological awareness end up better prepared for dealing with written language. Linguistic awareness means that the child is aware of his or her own language, what it sounds like and how it consists of words and sentences. Phonological awareness implies an awareness of the sound structure of the language, which is important for the early stages of reading development and for understanding the connection between letters and sounds.
The study includes 370 children as well as a number of pre-school and special needs teachers in eight municipalities. The studied children receive phonological training for 25 minutes a day for six weeks. The six-week period is repeated with the same children for a total of three years, with pre- and post-tests during the three years. The children are divided into three groups – one phonological group, one group receiving alternative training, and one control group that is not receiving any particular training. In the third and final year, all three groups are offered phonological training within the framework of the regular pre-school work.
The preliminary findings indicate that the phonological training had an effect immediately following the training, and that the effect can be observed one year later as well.
‘The children in the intervention group had a higher level of phonological awareness. They were for example able to identify and manipulate speech sounds. Rhyming is one example of this. The ability to recognise the form of the language is something that researchers know is important for early reading development,’ says Senior Lecturer Ulrika Wolff, who is heading the project together with Professor Jan-Eric Gustafsson.
Since the studied children are still in pre-school, they are not yet being taught the art of reading. The researchers are planning to follow the same group of children for a few years once they start school in order to investigate the more long-term effects of early intervention on the development of reading and writing skills. Doing so will show whether or not the children who have not received the training are able to catch up with the intervention group.
Helena Aaberg | idw
Starting school boosts development
11.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
New Master’s programme: University of Kaiserslautern educates experts in quantum technology
15.03.2017 | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.
The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
30.05.2017 | Life Sciences
30.05.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences