Preschool is an important period for developing the prerequisites of literacy skills in the primary school. Some fundamental skills at this stage (e.g.,phonological, lexical and morphosyntactic skills) belong to the language domain and allow the children to participate in their social context, to share world events through narrations and dialogues, to construct knowledge in the social context and to conceptualize the object and events of the world. A broadliterature has shown that early fragilities in the language skills at preschool age could be associatedwith learning problems and difficulties in primary school and that therefore the early evaluation on these fragilities and the implementation of support programs need to be important targets for research and the development of best educational practice. This study uses an innovative approach (‘Teaching and Assessing Language for Kids’, hereafter TALK), which combines a range of methodologies in a cross-cultural perspective in order tofocus on the assessment of early competences and on early intervention in support of learning competences from preschool to primary school.
The specific aims are:
The target groups of the research aretwo preschools and two primary schools in each of Italy, Belgium andRomania.
The project needs to be transnational because we aim to compare various aspects of school contexts: for examplethe Belgian and Romanian educational systems are currently moving to an inclusive approach, whereas in Italy the inclusive approach was adopted some years ago. We will share the research findings and good practices widely, particularly among teachers, on the recognition and treatment of early language and learning fragilities. We think that the sharing of good practice and evidence-based facilitative support for early literacy skills in preschool could make a difference, even in the short term, to teachers helping children tackle the transition to the primary school. In the long run, more importantly, improving their language skills will enhance the children’s quality of life, well-being and communication, particularly in the wide range of interactive contexts that they experience, helping teachers and carers to prevent long-termdifficulties in their socio-emotional adjustment.
Literacy skills development, early competences, well-being, social inclusion
Majorano Marinella, University of Verona
24 months (September 2017- )
Data collection in progress (pre- and post-intervention completed, follow-up in progress); data analyses in progress; first results.