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Project duration 01.10.2022 - 30.09.2026

Shaping linguistic education together with elementary schools, families, and educational professionals: What works?

The goal of the SPEAK project is the development, evaluation and distribution of digitally supported language support at the beginning of primary school. By systematically taking into account family and school conditions and by interlinking different learning venues – lessons, all-day educational activities, family – the aim is to enable support in the areas of vocabulary and grammar that can be integrated into the everyday lives of elementary school children.

Project description

Educational and participation opportunities for young learners depend significantly on their language skills. Against this background, the SPEAK project is developing a digitally supported language support measure in the areas of vocabulary and grammar that is targeted specifically at first-grade students and involves teachers, pedagogical staff, and parents as everyday learning companions.

Grüner Schriftzug des Projektnamens SPEAK

The systematic regular support by German teachers in the classroom during the first school year is supplemented for some of the supported classes by the involvement of other pedagogical staff (e.g. language games in the all-day area) and the children's families (e.g. provision of weekly language games).
In a longitudinal randomized experimental design, the effectiveness of language support is examined by measuring language competencies using standardized tests at the beginning and end of first grade and at the end of second grade (medium-term effects). The project will be accompanied by the establishment of a research-practice network to facilitate a structured and intensive exchange of knowledge between practice, administration and science.
By taking into account school and family contexts of learning, the language support should be individually applicable at different learning sites and made available to teachers, pedagogical staff and parents as an open resource at the end of the project.

Lead researcher at IFS

Project management

Project team

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Location & approach

The most convenient highway exits are on the B 1/A 40 (Dortmund-Barop) (closer to the North Campus) and on the A45 (Dortmund-Eichlinghofen). The university is signposted at both exits. In the local road network you will find signs to Campus Nord, where the Campus Treff is also located. From Emil-Figge-Strasse, entrance no. 18 and from Vogelspothsweg entrance no. 23 lead to parking spaces near the venue.

From Dortmund main station, take the S-Bahn "S1" in the direction of Solingen on track 7 to the stop "Dortmund-Universität" (price level A). The S-Bahn runs every 15 minutes during peak hours on weekdays and takes about 6 minutes. From Düsseldorf, the S-Bahn runs every 30 minutes. Directly at the S-Bahn station you will find the CDI building, which houses the Center for Research on Education and School Development.

One of the university's landmarks is the H-Bahn, which has two terminuses on the North Campus. One is located directly above the S-Bahn station and is easily accessible from it by elevators. The other is located in the center of Campus North at the bridge between the University Library and the Mensa, right next to the Audimax. The H-Bahn runs from here to the South Campus and the Eichlinghofen district.

Dortmund has an airport connected with some destinations in Central Europe. There are regular flights, for example, to Amsterdam, Berlin, Dresden, Katowice, Krakow, Leipzig-Halle, London, Munich, Nuremberg, Paris, Poznan, Stuttgart, Vienna and Zurich. For the approximately 20 kilometers from the Dortmund airport to the campus, you can take the bus to the main train station and from there the S-Bahn. Faster is usually the use of a cab. Far more international flight connections are offered by the Rhine-Ruhr Airport in Düsseldorf, about 60 kilometers away, which can be reached directly by S-Bahn from the university station.