NATED Track 1: Language Development, Text Comprehension, and Literacy
Track 1 focuses on oral and written communication skills required in contemporary society, and the learning and teaching of such skills.
Language and literacy skills are important for a range of developmental areas as well as for school success. Conversely, inadequate skills in these areas may lead to a range of problems for individual students, both in and out of school. In particular, the increasing importance of discipline-specific oral and written language in school constitutes a great challenge for many learners.
The main focus in Track 1 is to expand our knowledge of how language and literacy develop from early childhood to post-secondary level and adulthood. The track includes a focus on preventive approaches, as well as on teaching and intervention for both normal and delayed language learners. The learning of oral language in preschool and school, and of written language at all educational levels, is central to the track’s research activities.
Better professional practices within the areas of language, reading, and writing require more knowledge of coding skills, developmental processes in text comprehension, learning from and with multiple information sources, and the teaching of language, reading, writing, and text comprehension skills. Understanding and improving the practices of preschool teachers directed towards promoting the language and literacy skills of children is a prioritised area of teacher research within this track.
Accordingly, the track focuses on developmental and learning processes that are complex and influenced by multiple factors. Individual differences, as well as social and cultural differences, may have important implications for language and literacy learning. Examples include children with intellectual disabilities and children from minority-language backgrounds, as well as students who have difficulties with comprehension and learning in higher education.
Language development, text comprehension, and literacy is a track that approaches these challenges by establishing an interdisciplinary platform for the development of theories, methods, and research-based evidence within this field. While the track focuses in particular on quantitative and mixed-methods approaches to address the described issues, the track is also open to researchers who wish to pursue the issues through more qualitative methodologies.
Reviews of relevant research areas and formulation of research questions and hypotheses, as well as discussions about designs and analytical approaches to address research questions and hypotheses, are in focus when new candidates present their projects. Later, candidates’ research results and interpretations are presented in the tracks seminars. Thus, not only do visiting experts fully or partly focus on methodological issues and challenges; the candidates’ own presentations are also discussed from a methodological point of view. Finally, track activities adress the process of writing and publishing scientific articles.
The track thus links:
- reading/writing processes and difficulties;
- reading and writing in a social and cultural perspective;
- the relationship between inclusion and exclusion;
- methodological issues in research on language and literacy, with an emphasis on quantitative and mixed-methods approaches;
- the process of writing and publishing scientific articles.
Track 1 arranges lectures by international experts integrated with seminars for its PhD students three times each year. The seminars address both substantial and methodological issues, and focus on the planned and ongoing research as well as on texts produced by the PhD students.