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  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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Over the last years public attention has focused more and more on preschool playgroups as a means of improving ethnic minority' children's chances for later school success. With regard to literacy development, one of the pillars of the school curriculum, ethnic minority children often appear to lag behind on comprehension literacy skills, rather than on technical literacy skills. Smith & Dickinson (1994) showed that the improvement of comprehension skills is possible in preschool education, provided they are accompanied by cognitively challenging interactions. It can be expected, however, that children whose home language is not the (pre)school language have difficulties participating in such interactions. The two studies presented in this paper seem to confirm this line of thought. The results of Study 1, a quantitative investigation into the relation between preschool playgroup participation and later school success, showed no significant differences on literacy tests in kindergarten, grades 1 and 2, between ethnic minority children who had and had not visited preschool playgroups. Study 2, a multiple case-study of three Turkish boys in a Dutch preschool playgroup, showed that Mehmet, Batuhan, and Yunus were only able to engage in cognitively challenging interactions after more than a year of preschool participation.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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