Eline Decraene

FWO PhD fellow at the research group ‘Language, learning, innovation’ within the Department of Educational Studies, Ghent University.

eline.decraene@ugent.be  |  +32 (0) 9 264 86 74  |  +32 (0)9 264 86 64 (secretariat)  |    Office 120.102                    

Henri Dunantlaan 2, 9000 Gent





Interactive book reading

Functional multilingual learning

Vocabulary acquisition


An increasing number of children are growing up in a region where the dominant language does not correspond to their home language. Despite schools' efforts to create rich language learning environments, second-language learners face significant difficulties in acquiring vocabulary in the language of instruction. One promising approach to vocabulary acquisition is interactive book reading. Interactive book reading involves purposeful and frequent interaction to transform children into active participants before, during, and after reading aloud.

Research focusing on multilingual contexts highlights the potential of the home language as a stepping stone for vocabulary acquisition in a new language. Although interactive book reading offers benefits to children of all ages, attention to it in practice and research tends to decrease when children transition to primary education. Therefore, this research aims to evaluate the effectiveness of various approaches to using the home language of 7 to 8-year-old multilingual children during interactive book reading to enhance their Dutch vocabulary development. To transfer the results to (pre-service) teachers, a follow-up study will investigate the effectiveness of a professional development initiative.