Newly arrived children
The Language on Tour project focuses on children of refugees, statusholders and labor migrants, often referred to as newly arrived children. Due to their limited command of the Dutch language, these children are more likely to experience educational disadvantages and are less likely to receive a recommendation for the higher levels of secondary education. As a result, they come into contact with science less often and less quickly than other children with a similar socioeconomic status. Language on Tour aims to close this gap, providing science lessons specifically aimed at newly arrived children aged 9 to 14 at various locations around the country.
Newly arrived children engage with language and multilingualism on a daily basis ; they speak a language other than Dutch at home and this home language is often seen as an obstacle at school and in everyday life, but in the Language on Tour lessons, pupils are actually seen as language experts by experience. By thinking like scientists about language diversity and language acquisition, for example, children learn skills that they can also apply in everyday life. They learn to organise their thoughts, investigate things and look carefully. Thanks to this scientific view on society, children become more confident and self-aware. 'And that is particularly important for this target group, who already have to deal with so many insecurities,' according to Sharon Unsworth and her colleagues.
Kletskoppen is the only organisation in the Netherlands that focuses exclusively on linguistics and children. Besides an annual festival in Nijmegen, Kletskoppen also organises roadshows, lessons at schools and activities in libraries throughout the country, among other places. During the activities, language researchers from Radboud University, the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics and other universities playfully present their knowledge about language and language development to children aged two to 12 and their (grand)parents.
National Science Agenda
Commissioned by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW), NWO implements the research programme of the National Science Agenda (NWA). The NWA funds projects that strengthen the connection between science and society. For example, by offering new forms of science communication to target groups that do not naturally come into contact with science. Besides Language on Tour, eight other projects received funding in this round.