By Jun Wang, Johns Hopkins University
Young dual language learners are considered at higher risk than their monolingual peers in terms of language skills and school readiness. A recent cluster-randomized controlled study published in Child Development investigated the effectiveness of a book-based language intervention – the Extend program – on bilingual children’s second-language skills in Norway.
The Extend program is a loosely scripted intervention intended to support children’s language skills including vocabulary, grammar, narrative skills, and perspective-taking. 464 children from 60 preschools, who spoke a variety of first languages, participated in the study. Teachers used 15 books in the classroom for this shared-reading intervention, and 4 were sent home so that parents could share them with their children in their preferred language.
The results indicated that the intervention had positive impacts on children’s second-language learning in general. In particular, the intervention had significant effects on second-language vocabulary (four indicators, ES=…
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