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ERIC Number: EJ924044
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 36
ISSN: ISSN-0300-4430
Language Competence and Social Focus among Preschool Children
Naerland, Terje
Early Child Development and Care, v181 n5 p599-612 2011
This study explores how various aspects of language competence are related to social focus among preschoolers. The study presented is based on video-recorded observation of 64 children, aged 11-61 months, during free play at their kindergarten. A measure of social focus in the preschool, regarded as an indicator of social status, was constructed based on the amount of positive and neutral contacts children received from their peers. The majority of the children were relatively seldom focused on by the others. From the transcription of the utterances, three measures of language competence were derived: a score to reflect the child's pragmatic skills, a score to reflect the range of categories the children have available in their characterisations of the world, and a score of mean length of utterance. All measures of language competence predicted social status when in combination with age. However, only the measure of pragmatic skills had an independent contribution to social focus when the variance of age was removed. When language competence is controlled for, age does not predict social status among preschool children. The relation between social focus in the kindergarten, age, and the three measures of language competence is discussed. (Contains 6 tables and 3 figures.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Kindergarten; Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A