Language development projects start in the children's facilities in cooperation with te University

Two new support projects in cooperation with MLU's Department of Pedagogy, Prevention and Intervention for Language and Communication Impairments will start in October 2022

An educator reads to four small children.

Language development disorders are among the most common developmental disorders in childhood. Nevertheless, they are still relatively unknown within the population and sometimes remain undetected. Long-lasting, massive language difficulties, however, can significantly influence the educational and professional development as well as the social participation of children, adolescents and young adults.

In the children's facilities of the Francke Foundations, two new support projects will start in October in cooperation with the Department of Pedagogy, Prevention and Intervention for Language and Communication Impairments of the (MLU):

»KommSelbst«, supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research BMBF, focuses on the linguistic communicative self-concept of children and young people with a migration background.

What is special about the project is that it does not focus on the vocabulary or grammar of multilingual children and young people as is usually the case, but on their linguistic self-concept. What is of interest here is how the children and young people feel in communication and interaction situations, i.e. in conversations in the day-care centre, school and environment. Are there situations in which they communicate well and with pleasure? Are there situations they avoid and in which they do not speak? »Especially in the transition from day care to school or from primary school to secondary school, a lot changes. The children have to communicate with new caregivers (educators, teachers), with new classmates and in unfamiliar buildings and spaces. We want to understand how we can support them in this task and develop appropriate support.«

In »Beat my Speech«. pre-school children learn to imitate drum sounds with their mouths once a week. Beatboxing originally comes from the hip hop movement. Prof. Dr. Stephan Sallat and Ellen Saal, who are responsible for the project at MLU, see great potential here for promoting children's speech and pronunciation. "Beatvoxing is a lot of fun for the children and they don't even notice how intensively they are working on their voice and language. We have already tested this approach at the speech therapy school in Halle and are now working with younger children in the Amos Comenius day care centre of the foundations." The project is also financially supported by the Kroschke Children's Foundation.

In recent years, there have been several joint projects between the Francke Foundations as providers of educational and early childhood education facilities and the Department of Education, Prevention and Intervention for Language and Communication Impairments at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg with the aim of promoting language and communication. For example, children have been supported through music therapy in small groups and topics have been worked on in final theses by students. For the past year, there has also been cooperation in the SprachNetz - Digtiales Netzwerk Sprache project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

The Francke Foundations are practice partners here and SprachNetz organises, among other things, a digital consultation hour on the topic of language development, language development disorders and support.

International Day of Language Development Disorders on 14 October 2022

In order to raise awareness of child language acquisition and its disorders among the general public, on 14 October, committed therapists, doctors, teachers, educators, scientists, affected people and their families, as well as other supporters, draw attention to the topic with a wide range of activities worldwide.