SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. (May 22, 2018) – Ventris Learning, LLC has reached agreement with the Florida State University Research Foundation, Inc. to become the exclusive publisher of the Dialect Awareness (DAWS™) supplemental language curriculum developed to teach students dialect shifting.

Dialect shifting is a language skill that helps children understand how language can be used in different contexts — an important foundational skill for reading and writing.

A team of leading researchers developed the DAWS lessons for second through fourth graders as part of an initial randomized controlled trial designed to examine whether dialect shifting is malleable, and whether an explicit versus implicit instructional focus on language use in different contexts might encourage dialect shifting in the classroom. A second trial investigated the efficacy of an expanded version of DAWS with a larger sample of students, and whether this kind of flexible language use supported reading comprehension.

“DAWS is used to increase dialect awareness in students’ writing, allowing them to differentiate language use across contexts and settings,” said Lakeisha Johnson, Ph.D., one of the developers of the program. “We are absolutely thrilled educators will soon be able to utilize DAWS in their schools.”

“The DAWS research is an important advance in our understanding of how language variation impacts literacy achievement,” said Robert Meyer, president of Ventris. “In both studies, students who participated in dialect awareness instruction demonstrated greater improvements in a variety of important language and literacy skills. We consider DAWS a wonderful addition to our product line.”

About Ventris Learning
Ventris Learning’s language development supplemental resources support teachers to better meet the instructional needs of students underserved in literacy.