This programme addresses a key priority of the Scottish Government, to close the attainment gap between the most and least deprived children with respect to language and literacy attainment. Recent figures reveal that this gap is proving resistant to change (Scottish Survey of Literacy and Numeracy, 2017).
Our goal is to connect the broad range of stakeholders currently involved in Scottish language and literacy research and practice. The current lack of opportunities for multidisciplinary exchange limits interconnectivity between the existing excellent but highly-specialised knowledge hubs. Our project will establish a new Scottish Interdisciplinary Language and Literacy network, which will be an inclusive forum for engagement to raise awareness and understanding of spoken and written communication skills.
The programme will bring together researchers, policy makers, education leads, practitioners, parents, librarians and third-sector organisations dedicated to supporting language and literacy and closing the attainment gap.
A series of 4 workshops will be used to establish dialogue around the following topics:
Workshop 1: Developing and enhancing early language through reading
Early years research on screening and intervention combined with work on parental engagement and home-school connections will form a basis for dialogue about effective early language and literacy support from developmental, educational and community perspectives.
Workshop 2: Improving early reading acquisition and development
Evidence-based approaches to supporting literacy, including theory-driven interventions for children at-risk of low attainment or with wider attentional/emotional needs will be discussed to inform teacher education and community involvement.
Workshop 3: Understanding and supporting multilingual language and literacy
Researchers with EAL/multilingual expertise on language/literacy development, assessment and evidence-based intervention will gather to work on new guidance about best practice in EAL/multilingual literacy engagement and instruction.
Workshop 4: Motivating and sustaining reading for pleasure
Research on identity and reading motivation will be shared alongside studies of the attitudes underlying children’s cognitive and cultural dis/engagement with reading to build interdisciplinary knowledge about reading for pleasure.