First words

Luigi Girolametto helps open door to language development

Date published: 2008-02-05 8:11:23 AM

Language delay is a serious developmental condition affecting about every one in 10 young children, and can negatively influence a child's relationships with their peers, emotional well-being, literacy outcomes, and educational success.

In an attempt to address these issues, Luigi Girolametto of the University of Toronto used "interactive strategies" of language and literacy facilitation in day-care facilities. Employing techniques such as increased responsiveness to children's communication attempts, his approach creates the ideal conditions for language enhancement and literacy development in all preschool children, including those with language disorders.

With the ultimate goal of teaching early-childhood educators to successfully facilitate language and literacy development, Girolametto also developed an in-service training program for childcare workers. So far, his research has found that educators who participate in the program are better able to facilitate children's use of language in conversational settings, increase children's language capacity and comprehension in book-reading, enhance children's print knowledge, and positively stimulate children's social interaction with their peers.

His research is a valuable contribution to the ongoing development of policies and programs aimed at increasing language acquisition in all children, especially those at risk of language delays or with confirmed language disorders.

Luigi Girolametto’s research on language development in children is supported by SSHRC’s Standard Research Grants program.