The present post-doc project aims to examine the effect from a preschool oral-language intervention. Undertaking this study is important for several reasons: On an international level, there is a scarcity of research on preschool interventions. This is es pecially true for studies concerning children demonstrating poor language skills in early child years. On a national level, the Norwegian Parliament has emphasized the need for screening language skills in all four-year old children. However, there has be en little focus on interventions that can prevent literacy failure in children that on this screening is identified to be at risk.
In order to answer to these challenges, a randomised trial study that examines the effects from an oral-language preschool intervention was designed. The study is involves pretest, intervention, post test, and a six-month follow up test. The intervention seeks to enhance expressive language, vocabulary and grammatical skills by undertaking different exercises based on direct instruction and joint book reading. The study focuses on two groups of children at risk: native Norwegian-speaking children with poor language skills and bilingual-minority children. The children will be distributed across two conditions in a randomised waiting-list design. In addition to the randomised control, children receiving the intervention will be compared with a large reference group of unselected children.
The questions this study will allow us to answer is to what degree there are effects fr om the intervention in general, and whether there are differential effects from the intervention between native Norwegian-speaking children and bilingual minority children. Moreover, the project will also enlighten the degree to which children that receiv e the intervention catch up with their normally developing peers. Also, the study will be able to show whether initial language status, gender and socio-economic factors have impact on intervention outcome.