The role of language competence in building peer relationships in early childhood: A social network perspective

Femke van der Wilt*, Dominik E. Froehlich, Chiel van der Veen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Engaging in positive relationships with peers is highly important for children's learning and development. In the present study, social network analyses were used to investigate how children's language competence affects their peer relationships in the context of early childhood classrooms. A total of 13 classrooms (N = 248 children) participated. Children's language competence was measured using tests for oral communicative competence and receptive vocabulary knowledge. Furthermore, a sociometric method was used to obtain network data. Outcomes of social network analyses showed that children are more likely to form relationships with children with high and similar levels of receptive vocabulary knowledge. In addition, weak support was found for the hypothesis that children form relationships with children with high levels of oral communicative competence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-29
Number of pages19
JournalStudia Paedagogica
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Nationaal Regieorgaan Onderwijsonderzoek (NRO) [grant number 40.5.18500.023].

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Nationaal

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Masaryk University, Faculty of Arts. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Early childhood education
  • Oral communicative competence
  • Peer relationships
  • Receptive vocabulary knowledge
  • Social network analysis

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