Children’s sociometric status refers to their position within the peer group and plays a major role in their future social-cognitive development. It is therefore important to investigate factors that are related to it. Although it has been suggested that one of these factors is children’s level of oral communicative competence, little attention has been paid to its potential role. Therefore, the present study investigated sociometric group differences in the level of oral communicative competence in a sample of N = 570 children in early childhood education. Sociometric status was measured using a nomination procedure. Based on peer nominations, children were categorized into five sociometric groups: (1) popular (generally well-liked), (2) rejected (generally disliked), (3) neglected (low visibility and neither liked nor disliked), (4) controversial (high visibility and both liked and disliked), and (5) average (at or about the mean on both likability and visibility). In addition, children’s level of oral communicative competence was assessed with the Nijmegen Test for Pragmatics. Results of multi-level analyses revealed significant sociometric group differences: Children who were rejected or neglected by their peers exhibited lower levels of oral communicative competence than average children. Based on these findings, early childhood teachers are encouraged to pay more explicit attention to the promotion of their pupils’ oral communicative competence.
|Translated title of the contribution||Popular, rejected, neglected, controversial or average: Do children from different sociometric groups differ in their level of oral communicative competence?|
|Number of pages||23|
|Publication status||Published - 1 May 2019|