Kletskoppen Art & Science
Kletskoppen Art & Science

Linguistics lessons for newly arrived children: Kletskoppen receives NWA funding for 'Language on Tour'

The Kletskoppen team, led by Dr Sharon Unsworth, has received another grant from NWO, this time for a groundbreaking project in collaboration with IMC Weekendschool. The funding will allow them to develop a teaching programme specifically designed to introduce newly arrived children to linguistics. The 'Language on Tour' project is a shining example of how science can contribute to an inclusive society.

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.

Boosting self-confidence

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.

About Kletskoppen

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.

Contact information

Education, Language