Suzanne Bogaerds-Hazenberg wins AVT/Anéla Dissertation Award

Basisschoolleerling zit in de klas en haar docent helpt haar met haar leerstof ©

(Former) PhD candidate Suzanne Bogaerds-Hazenberg has received the AVT/Anéla Dissertation Award. She wins the award for her dissertation ‘Text Structure Instruction in Dutch Primary Education: Building Bridges between Research and Practice’.

“Innovative and current”

According to the jury, Bogaerds-Hazenberg’s research on text structure teaching in primary schools was the most daring. “It is characterised by the wide-ranging nature of her research and the transparency of its implementation,” they wrote in their report. “The jury was impressed by this combination of studies, which followed one another naturally, and by the method of reporting, which was very clear. Her research is also innovative and topical.”

Suzanne Bogaerds-Hazenberg wint AVT/Anéla-dissertatieprijs. Foto: Universiteit Leiden

“I am incredibly grateful that the jury also saw the value of this research,” Bogaerds-Hazenberg says, “and I especially hope that it can also contribute in a social sense. Especially in these times when the declining reading skills of Dutch pupils is a major issue, I am glad that my PhD research allowed me to explore some new starting points for quality reading education.”

Text structure

In her research, Bogaerds-Hazenberg observed that primary school pupils can better understand, memorise, and summarise texts through explicit instruction about narrative and informative text structures. A text structure is the underlying skeleton of a text that organises all the information. Experienced readers recognise such structures, for example, by typical signal words. They use text structure as a mental framework to process text content in an ordered way.

Together with four teachers, Bogaerds-Hazenberg developed a lesson series which they immediately implemented in practice. There were positive effects on writing skills for all children, but the effects on reading, summarising, and metacognitive knowledge varied between intervention groups.

As this variability in effects raised questions about the exact lesson implementation, three teachers and their pupils were monitored during the lessons. According to Bogaerds-Hazenberg, the study generated useful insights for the professionalisation of teachers and reinforcement of teaching materials for reading comprehension instruction.

AVT/Anéla Dissertation Award

The Dutch Linguistic Society (AVT) and the Dutch Society for Applied Linguistics (Anéla) award the AVT/Anéla Dissertation Award annually to a dissertation written in the field of linguistics, defended at a Dutch university. This year, the jury included Pia Sommerauer, Marijke de Belder, Jan Berenst, Crit Cremers, and Ulrika Klomp.