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.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by Nationaal Regieorgaan Onderwijsonderzoek (NRO) [grant number 40.5.18500.023].
This work was supported by Nationaal
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- Early childhood education
- Oral communicative competence
- Peer relationships
- Receptive vocabulary knowledge
- Social network analysis