Lectorate Language Acquisition and Development

    Language acquisition and language development are very important themes with regards to Rotterdam education. In the first place, this is due to the large numbers of immigrants living in Rotterdam, as a result of which the command of Dutch in the city and in the schools is no longer self-evident.

    About the lectorate

    Many Rotterdammers of all ages need support in acquiring Dutch. With young children this necessary support often takes place in the context of the Pre- and Early School Education (VvE), with older children it mainly concerns language education in primary and secondary education and with adults it often concerns a complex of learning disadvantages, also referred to as 'low literacy', whereby extracurricular solutions have to be offered (at work or in special courses). In addition, there is also a serious problem in the language acquisition of students in higher education. This concerns not only the command of spelling and grammar when writing theses, but especially the acquisition of profession-specific language, public-oriented writing skills and (especially in teacher training) exemplary and clear verbal communication.

    The lectorate focuses on a multidisciplinary approach to issues in the field of language development, in which learning and developmental psychological, educational, linguistic and sociological insights are important. Important subjects are, for example, the effectiveness of subject didactics for language education (both Dutch and foreign languages) in various types of education, early teaching of English, curricula for language education, language use in subjects other than Dutch, language policy in secondary and higher education, the role of language in the home situation and the role of language in learning. All of these themes deal with language skills in a broad sense, with special attention to reading skills, writing skills, verbal language skills, grammar and vocabulary. Empirical research methods are used, with an emphasis on quantitative research using advanced statistical analysis methods, but also qualitative methods.

    Research programme

    The lectorate works within the research programme Optimalisation of Learning Processes of the Research Centre Urban Talent.