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 RESEARCH  THEME V
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 THEME V

SOCIAL, ECONOMIC & PROGRAM INFLUENCES: FAMILIES, SCHOOL and COMMUNITIES

Project Abstracts

LEADERS(s) LOCATION

Swidinsky,Robert
rswidins@uoguelph.ca

University of Guelph
The Economic Value of Language Acquisition

Abstract
Many parents believe that language acquisition will give their children an advantage in the labour market in terms of both greater employability and higher earning power. These economic benefits, if true, would add to other, non-pecuniary, benefits that derive from language acquisition. The objective of the proposed study is to assess the effect of diverse language skills on economic performance. Language skills may take many forms. For example, a child can be taught a single official language, both official languages, or an official language and one or more heritage languages. How do these combinations of language skills affect the social and economic lives of children? Is the economic pay-off to multiple language skills sufficient to warrant the investment in language training? Is fluency in an additional official language a contributor to economic success? While the proposal does not address all of the relevant issues, it does address some of the most fundamental questions. This work should be of interest to not only parents and educators but to policy makers as well, given Canada’s many language and multiculturalism programs.


LEADERS(s) LOCATION

Wood,Eileen
ewood@wlu.ca

Wilfrid Laurier University
Enhancing Computer Literacy in Early Childhood

Abstract
Computer literacy increasingly is an important skill in today’s economy and in today’s school systems. The present project will systematically examine the impact of technology on young learners, within an educational environment. The research program will examine a number of relevant issues including: how computer technology is viewed and used with the educational systems; which interface devices (mouse, touch screen, etc) work best for individual learners and the impact of the Internet on instruction and cognitive development. Current research suggests that even the limited knowledge that is available on the applications of computer technology may not be generalizable to a Canadian population. The proposal, therefore, will attempt to establish a “state-of-the-art” of computer technology in each level of the education system in Canada.


LEADERS(s) LOCATION

Toohey,Kelleen
toohey@sfu.ca

Simon Fraser University
A sociocultural investigation of language learning in the intermediate grades: Children of diverse origins in English medium and French immersion classrooms.

Abstract
This project is a long-term investigation of the social and cultural contexts of language and literacy learning among children of diverse language backgrounds enrolled in Canadian schools. The research will be conducted in regular English and French immersion programs in grades 5 through 7, yielding fine-grained analyses of the language and literacy practices of the students and their classrooms. Fieldwork will involve weekly observations, audio and videotaping of children in their classrooms over the school year, and the interviews of teachers, children and their families. The results of the research will also provide insights into schooling and classroom practices of interest to teachers, administrators and policy makers. As well, it will benefit parents and community members interested in forging links between home, school and community to enhance language and literacy learning.


LEADERS(s) LOCATION

Timmons,Vianne
vtimmons@upei.ca

University of Prince Edward Island
A Family Literacy Approach to Improving Children's Literacy Levels

Abstract
This project focuses on the development of a family literacy program specifically developed for rural communities. This program will be designed based on families’s identified literacy needs. The program will focus on providing children and families an opportunity to participate in a program which incorporates both a whole and skills based approach to literacy. The program will be designed with ten families from two rural communities participating in the development and piloting of the program. Once developed and evaluated, this program will be expanded to encompass communities in two other provinces.


LEADERS(s) LOCATION

Rose-Krasnor,Linda
lrosekra@spartan.ac.brocku.ca

Brock University
A Systems View of Resource Access and Allocation Decisions in Families with Children who have Communication Delays

Abstract
The successful development of children with communication delays may depend on their access both to specialized community assistance and extra resources within the family. In the proposed project, researchers will examine the processes families use to decide whether to seek outside resources for their child and identify factors that enhance or discourage families’ ability to obtain community assistance. In addition, researchers will explore how parents allocate resources within the family and how these distribution patterns may influence outcomes for children with communication delays and their siblings. Information will be gathered through a combination of interviews, questionnaires and observations. Families will be reassessed at yearly intervals in order to determine the developmental course of relevant family processes and child adjustment. Researchers hypothesize that the ways that families interact with community agencies may reflect the interactions occurring within the family itself. This project should help us understand why some families successfully access community services for their children and others may not be able or willing to take advantage of these services. These findings may help organizations rethink service delivery options and their presentation to potential clients. In comparing resource access and allocation processes in families with children who have communication delays with those in families of children without such delays, researchers hope to identify family challenges and strengths that will be of special interest to speech professionals, as well as advancing our understanding of family interaction at a theoretical level.


Last Modified: July 11 2002 08:49:44.

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