> Dansk

New research shows that BookFun strengthens children’s language skills, self-confidence and access to their community

The Mary Foundation’s new project, BookFun, gives preschool children more words – and the confidence to use them. The children gain self-confidence and become better at maintaining and fostering new relationships with other children. This is what the research results linked to the roll-out of the project in Danish schools have revealed.

28 August 2012

Today, HRH Crown Princess Mary visited Svanen preschool in Brøndby along with the Minister for Children and Education, Christine Antorini, and the Mayor of Brøndby, Ib Terp, in order to mark the fact that The Mary Foundation’s BookFun project is now available to every preschool in Denmark. Svanen’s children and teachers also provided a little demonstration on how they work with BookFun, and the Danish musician and teacher Hr. Skæg (Mr Beard) performed for the children.

BookFun is a pedagogical tool that The Mary Foundation – in collaboration with experts in the field – has developed for use in Danish preschools. BookFun is based on the dialogic reading method which has been proven by international research to have a well-documented effect on increasing children’s vocabulary and strengthening their communication skills, and thus helping them to find their way into their community.

The follow-up research into the pilot phase of BookFun was made public in a presentation by The Mary Foundation’s director, Helle Østergaard.

“The research shows that BookFun works. The children who have participated in the BookFun programme have developed significantly better communication skills than the children from the control group, who have had the books read aloud to them in the conventional way. And in addition to this, the feedback from teachers has been overwhelmingly positive – they find that BookFun is an easy-to-use tool that supports language development and the inclusion of children. The children learn new words, gain the confidence to use them and become better at developing and maintaining relationships. And this is what BookFun has been designed to do – to give all children access to their community,” explains The Mary Foundation’s director, Helle Østergaard.

Maiken Bækgaard, a teacher at Svanen preschool in Brøndby, used BookFun during the pilot phase and is looking forward to continuing working with this pedagogical activity – which was also warmly adopted by the children.

“BookFun has been a very good challenge for me as a professional in relation to the pedagogical work surrounding language and reading aloud. Having a pedagogical tool in my hands that not only strengthens inclusion by fostering new relationships in the group, but also develops the children's language skills, has been fantastic. We now have children who taste the words and who have gained more self-confidence – to offer suggestions when we are talking about words and concepts, among other things” says Maiken Bækgaard.

As of today, preschools can order BookFun at www.læseleg.dk. The BookFun pack consists of four selected children’s books, a professional booklet, a DVD with instructions and booklets and costs DKK 850.

Facts about BookFun

  • BookFun was developed by The Mary Foundation, comes under the Bullying and Well-being focus area, and has The Obel Family Foundation as its financial partner.
  • BookFun is based on the dialogic reading method, which involves reading aloud in small reading groups. The same book is read aloud several times and the adult asks the child questions along the way and relates what’s being read to the child’s daily life. Creative activities are then used to delve into the stories in more depth and use “good words”.

The follow-up research linked to BookFun

  • BookFun underwent a trial phase as part of a four-month pilot project that began in September 2011. A total of nine preschools in Brøndby, Odense and Aalborg took part in the pilot programme.
  • During the trial period, the project was closely followed by Kristine Jensen de López, a professor in developmental psychology at Aalborg University, who was responsible for the follow-up research.
  • Ninety-six randomly selected children aged between three and six took part in the follow-up research. Half of the children participated in BookFun, and the other half (the control group) had the books that were used in BookFun read aloud to them in the conventional way. In addition to this, the research is also based on 36 individual interviews with a total of 18 teachers who tested BookFun, as well as on observations of selected quiet children. This initiative has provided the most in-depth understanding of the effect of dialogic reading in Denmark to date.
  • The results show that the children who participated in the BookFun programme had developed significantly better communication skills in comparison with those children (the control group) who had simply had the same book read aloud to them in the conventional way.
  • The BookFun children had a better vocabulary of unfamiliar words and were better able to explain the difficult words used in the BookFun books.
  • The BookFun children in the 3-4 year-old age group were also significantly better at naming new words quickly and fluently in comparison with the children in the control group – an ability which will have an influence on the children’s future reading skills. The better children are at naming new words in preschool, the better their reading skills are likely to be in the future.
  • The teachers indicated that they were very satisfied with BookFun and highlighted the following aspects as being among the project’s strengths:
  • BookFun fosters creative children and adults
  • BookFun creates the time, calmness and room for reading aloud with the children
  • BookFun improves the potential for social inclusion in the preschool
  • BookFun supports children with language difficulties
  • BookFun helps the quiet children to become more open and able to use the language – and it gives them self-confidence
  • BookFun gets the children to see each other, to develop new relationships with playmates, and to foster new communities
  • BookFun strengthens the relationship with the individual child
Når pædagoger, lærere og forældre sammen sætter fokus på det gode børnefællesskab og på at lære børn og unge, at mobning er uacceptabelt, så virker det...
Kronprinsessen hyldede partnerskabet og brede alliancer i arbejdet med at bekæmpe komplekse sociale...
Vores samarbejde med MH24 - Mikkel Mod Mobning har knopskudt, og vi har netop lanceret Antibulli-prisen...
mary_fonden I et godt børnefællesskab er tolerancen og respekten for hinanden så høj, at man kan se ud, hedde og være præcis, som man gør og er. I et godt børnefællesskab har man også øje for, at alle kan bidrage med noget til fællesskabet. Forenklet kan man sige, at et godt fællesskab er modstandsdygtigt over for mobning. Det gælder også i børnenes fritidsliv. Derfor har vi sammen med @mh24_officiel skabt #Antibulli Håndbold, som gør det let for børnehåndboldtrænere at træne sammenholdet og styrke det gode børnefællesskab. Vil du også arbejde med fællesskab i fritidslivet, så tjek link i bio. #modmobning #forebyggelseerbedst #alleharrettilathøretil
mary_fonden "I rygsækken blev jeg rigtig glad for lego batman bamsen, som gav mig tryghed, da det hele var svært. Dagbogen har jeg tegnet min situation i, som hjælper mig med at forstå og bearbejde min situation. Bogen "Den her bog elsker dig" giver mig en masse grin og gode snakke med min mor." ..... Postkortet kommer fra et af de knap 2.000 børn, som hvert år flytter på krisecenter med sin mor. Alle børn på krisecentre i Danmark, Grønland og på Færøerne får en rygsæk fra Mary Fonden og #olekirksfond. Rygsækken rummer det mest nødvendige, som et barn kan savne, når han eller hun flytter på krisecenter – lige fra et håndklæde og hårbørste til en dagbog, lidt legetøj og en bamse. Rygsækken fungerer også som et pædagogisk værktøj for krisecentrenes børnemedarbejdere og bliver brugt til at sætte gang i den svære samtale med barnet om oplevelserne i hjemmet. #allebørnharrettiletlivudenvold #rygsækketilbørnpåkrisecentre #stopvoldmodbørn
mary_fonden Tusindvis af børn har gennem årene haft en fest i det gode børnefællesskabs navn til de årlige Fri for Mobberi​ Børnestafetter, som vi holder i København og Aarhus. I sidste måned var det de færøske børns tur til tage bamsestafetten og løbe en kilometer mod mobning til 'Bamsurenning' (Bamseløb) i det nordatlantiske 🇫🇴. Fri for Mobberi blev i marts i år lanceret på Færøerne under navnet 'Betri Vinir' (Bedre Venner). Det er den færøske NGO #Barnabati​, som i samarbejde med Mary Fonden og @redbarnetdk ​har tilpasset det danske antimobbeprogram til færøske forhold, og som også står bag det færøske Bamseløb. #friformobberi #betrivinir #børnestafetten2018 #bamseven #alleharrettilathøretil #forebyggelseerbedst
mary_fonden 🍁📚Efterårsferien nærmer sig - og dermed måske også lidt ekstra tid til varm kakao og højtlæsning sammen med børnene i familien 🍁📚. Vores projekt LæseLeg, der støtter børns sproglige udvikling i dagtilbud og indskolingen, har 10 gode råd til, hvordan du også som forælder og bedsteforælder kan læse SAMMEN med dine børn eller børnebørn i stedet for at læse for dem. Det hjælper dem nemlig til at udvikle et stort og nuanceret sprog. Her er de første tre råd: 1) Læs sammen med dit barn At læse sammen med adskiller sig fra at læse for. Når du læser sammen med dit barn, afbryder I oplæsningen og taler om ord, historie og illustrationer undervejs og efter snip, snap, snude. 2) Vær til stede De fleste har oplevet, at tankerne flyver, når de læser højt. Bliv i læseoplevelsen sammen med dit barn. 3) Begynd tidligt Fra dit barn er 9-10 måneder har det glæde af små bøger. Kig i bøgerne og sæt ord på – men kun så længe dit barn er interesseret. Fra dit barn er godt to år, kan I læse bøger med lidt tekst. Tanken bag det hele er, at børn har brug for at kunne udtrykke sig for at være en del af børnefællesskabet, og følgeforskning viser, at LæseLeg netop giver sproget vokseværk. Find resten af de gode råd på laeseleg.dk (link i bio). #alleharrettilathøretil #givsprogetvokseværk #læseleg #tidligindsats 📷: Steen Brogaard
mary_fonden Er du begyndt at tælle ned til jul? Det er vi. Hvert år på denne tid mødes vi med vores faste bureau MOTOR Agency og taler julehilsen. Og hvert år tryller kreativ direktør Carsten Michelsen et nyt fint og julet format frem. Julehilsner luner. Men det gør hilsner uden for højtiderne også. Så hvis du ikke helt er nået til det med julen endnu, så er det måske tid til at sende en hilsen til en, du tænker på ... helt uden julen som anledning. Foto: Mary Fonden ©