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Linz sees advantage of language in nurseries

Austrian city of Linz has been carrying out a study to test what advantages local and immigrant children have from being challenged earlier over their language skills.

The research was carried out by the University of Hamburg. Under the study that has been going on for a year, children of all ages in city-controlled nurseries were offered language courses.

The general course is offered during nursery hours for all, but an extra course is offered to children with an immigration background which currently stands at around 2,000.

Some 300 children were tested in autumn last year and then again this year at the same time. And according to Ingrid Gogolin from the research team there were marked improvements for all children - those in the basic class and those in the special classes.

Those with a migration background scored 48 of 80 possible points last year. Those from Austria got 56.

This year it was 55 for the migrant children and 59 for the Austrians.

Deputy mayor Klaus Luger (SPÖ) said the results confirmed the importance of the city's policy to promote language skills.

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