In Luxembourg, almost half of children under the age of nine do not reach the national education standards. So researchers at the University of Luxembourg developed LALA - Lauter lëschteg Lauter ('So many funny sounds'), a programme that helps to prevent learning difficulties among children enrolled in the preschool cycle (ages 3-5).
How does it work?
The programme consists of a series of short word games and activities, which the teacher can do several times a week with their class. The activities are structured around an imaginary character, a parrot called Lala, who comes to visit the children in the classroom. The material and activities are based on the results of recent studies, and take into account the multilingal school context in Luxembourg. LALA was tested and evaluated on a scientific basis for five years. Over 200 children and eight schools took part in this study.
The results are very positive: When the skills required in order to learn to read were tested, children who participated in the LALA programme obtained better results than the other children. For the researchers, it is particularly encouraging that the children who do not speak Luxembourgish at home also made good progress thanks to the programme - even though it was carried out in Luxembourgish.
As the scientific evalutation of the programme is complete, four schools are now working actively with LALA. The programme received support from organisations including Mondorf-les-Bains Lions Club and the National Research Fund.
(Source: press release by the University of Luxembourg)