Educational Equality for Children with Developmental Language Disorder. A Study of Goal Attainment, Experience and Participation

Students raise their hand when a teacher holds a lesson.
Picture from Johnér Bildbyrå. The people in the picture are not connected to the research project. johner.se/Maskot Bildbyrå AB

Developmental language disorder (DLD) is a condition that occurs in about seven percent of all children. Since the school's teaching presupposes a good language ability, there is a great risk that these students will not reach the school's goals. This project examines both risks and working strategies in the teaching of students with a language impairment problem.

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Abstract

Teacher helps young people with school assignments in the classroom.Picture from Johnér Bildbyrå. The people in the picture are not connected to the research project. Photo credit johner.se/Maskot Bildbyrå ABThe purpose of this project is to generate knowledge that can be used to improve the organization of learning activities for children with developmental language disorder (DLD), as well as to improve the experience of school attendance among these children. Despite DLD being a common condition, there is a dearth of scientific research that focus on what factors facilitate and hamper educational attainment in this group. The school situation for students with DLD are studied using three principal approaches:

  • In the first out of three studies, approximately 600 children with DLD together with their caregivers answer a questionnaire focusing on school results, support activities and various background factors.
  • In the second study, 30 students with DLD, 30 caregivers, and 30 teachers are interviewed about their experiences of school activities.
  • In the third study, real-life classroom situations in five groups are video recorded to enable detailed analyses of student–teacher interaction and the organization of learning activities.

The project answers questions about what the current school situation is like for children with DLD, and how teachers can adapt their classroom practices to the communicative needs of children with DLD. The knowledge gained through the present project will be of great importance to students with DLD and their families, teachers working with students with DLD, and policy makers responsible for organizing education on equal terms for all children.

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