Assessing and supporting Aboriginal children’s language development through play

We are collaborating with educational partners and community members on developing culturally responsive instructional and assessment tools for children’s language and literacy development through child-centered activities in classrooms, daycares and homes. Many children are expected to learn curricular subjects while learning academic English or French used in schools. This academic language may differ significantly from the language aboriginal children hear and speak at home. Often times teachers and educators have viewed such differences as linguistic and cultural deficiencies rather than resources. But, seeing these as resources instead makes for richer classrooms and promotes students’ language and literacy skills. With the help of experienced and motivated teachers, we seek to co-create culturally-responsive classroom activities, pedagogical resources, and assessment strategies. The project also engages teachers in developing professional knowledge about and competence in supporting children’s literacy and language development through culturally rich language practices.

Lab members working on the Aboriginal
Children's Oral Language Project: