Volume 96, Issue 61
Friday, January 17, 2003

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Language and literacy get funding
Sadly, drunken stupidity still not supported

By Paolo Zinatelli
Gazette Staff

Western's Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network received $571,830 in funding for 2003, in an announcement made by Joe Fontana, Liberal member of Parliament for London North Centre.

"The [CLLRN's] research activities focus on early language and literacy skills, because these provide the foundation for success in school and in life," Fontana said in a media release.

The research work for which the funding was allocated requires collaboration between disciplines, practitioners and partners, Fontana's release stated.

"The CLLRN support's research projects for which the primary researcher is London-based," said Don Jamieson, scientific director for the CLLRN, adding the funded researchers are members of the [CLLRN] and have proposed work which is consistent with the CLLRN's mandate.

"[The CLLRN] is one of the federal Networks of Centres of Excellence," Jamieson said, explaining the NCE organizes Canadian research on a specific topic.

"We look to support co-ordinated collaboration – research [NCE] has determined relevant to the Canadian research process," he added. The money for Western will be used to focus specifically on research into language and literacy in children, Jamieson explained.

Debra Jared, a professor in Western's psychology department, is one of the researchers who will be receiving a portion of the money.

"[We are] looking at the development of children in learning to read a second language," she explained. There are six people involved in her specific project, she said, noting she is an [NCE] team leader.

Jared's project – which is in its second year – involves researchers from Ontario and New Brunswick, she said. "[We] first received funding a year ago."

There are two components to the research, she said. The first involves looking at children in French immersion classes, and the second involves children for whom English is a second language, Jared explained.

"The goal [of CLLRN is] to get people to collaborate across universities," she said. Through NCE, the government groups researchers across the country to address problems in Canadian society, Jared added.

The CLLRN has 26 universities participating from coast to coast, said Jamieson. "[This] reduces duplication and pools knowledge."

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2002 THE GAZETTE