Early childhood educators' competences for supporting children's academic language skills in Germany

Marije Michel, Daniela Ofner, Dieter Thoma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study investigates early childhood educators? language training competence that is required to support children's linguistic development. Hundred and forty-four early-years-professionals in Germany completed a computer-based assessment. We first tested knowledge of linguistic topics (e.g. morpho-syntax, developmental stages). Second, we probed their ability to make relevant linguistic observations in videotaped child?educator interactions. Third, we asked them to select adequate language interventions for the observed child. The participants? knowledge and observing ability scores were slightly above 50% but they scored low in selecting effective interventions. More detailed analyses indicate that those with a higher level of secondary education outperformed low-educated early-years-professionals. Only those with intensive specialist training were better equipped to choose appropriate intervention methods. We discuss the results in light of the current German and (inter-) national practice of early childhood educators? professional training and suggest a greater emphasis on linguistics and language awareness in their education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-156
Number of pages19
JournalLanguage Awareness
Volume23
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3-Apr-2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • early childhood caregivers
  • child language development
  • teacher training
  • preschool
  • multilingualism
  • professionalism
  • PROFESSIONAL-DEVELOPMENT
  • TEACHERS
  • KNOWLEDGE
  • OUTCOMES
  • RESPONSIVITY
  • INSTRUCTION
  • CLASSROOMS
  • IMPACT

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