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

Michel, Marije and Ofner, Daniela and Thoma, Dieter (2014) Early childhood educators’ competences for supporting children’s academic language skills in Germany. Language Awareness, 23 (1-2). pp. 138-156. ISSN 0965-8416

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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.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Language Awareness
Additional Information:
Based on research within the project www.sprachkopf.de This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Language Awareness on 05/02/2014, available online:http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/09658416.2013.863896
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Deposited On:
19 Aug 2013 10:21
Last Modified:
21 Nov 2022 23:04