Literacy and Language Development

Research theme

Focused and substantiated attention to reading and writing skills is a requirement for pupils’ school success and hence for their participation in society.

In this research theme and the related research circle of Literacy and School Success our researchers conduct research on language and reading in all school types and at all educational levels. Some of the main questions asked by our researchers involved in literacy and language research are: Are we doing the right things when it comes to training language and reading skills? In fact, what exactly is proper training of language and reading skills?


The Windesheim research group Literacy and Language Development collaborates with the Professorships of Educational Innovation and ICT, and with Pedagogical Quality in Education of Windesheim, and also Literacy of Utrecht University of Applied Sciences. Our researchers are also closely involved in Windesheim’s programme of Education in Primary Schools (age 4 – 12), Teacher Education programmes and the Master Educational Needs.


In their article ‘Goed taalonderwijs biedt kansen aan alle leerlingen’ Anneke Smits and Erna van Koeven discuss how present-day language teaching preserves inequality and what it takes to change this: Tijdschrift Taal, 7(11), 34-39.

Blog and projects

In the interest of the Dutch education sector the research group also focuses on the connection between research and educational practice. This is reflected in the blog Literacy and School Success by Anneke Smits and Erna van Koeven, which clearly addresses a need. Practical as well as scientific dilemmas are discussed, aiming to generate a knowledge base and initiate discussion and changes in the training of language and reading.