Förderung der Zweisprachigkeit im Kindergarten (German Edition)

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The pre-tests started when the parents agreed and had sent back the informed consent as well as the questionnaire. The pre-tests contained an intelligence test and a phonological awareness test. The intelligence test was performed in groups of four to eight children; phonological awareness was assessed in individual sessions. The assessments were performed on consecutive days, or on 1 day with adequate breaks in between.

Subsequent to the pre-tests, 14 weeks of training followed.


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All training groups music, phonological skills, and sports received 20 min of training three times a week. Each group consisted of four to six children.

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Immediately after the training phase, a post-test was conducted. At the end of the project, each child received a present and a certificate for participation. First, the dropout was analyzed to rule out any biases. The main reason for the high dropout rate was a wave of colds during the wintertime, so that many children were ill and stayed at home several times. A further reason was that many families went on winter holidays so that their participating children were absent for another 1 or 2 weeks.

Thus, the dropout rate did not bias the sample. Differences in gender, age, sociodemographic data music experience of children and parents, socioeconomic status, language background , and intelligence among the music group, the phonological skills group, and the sport group were compared. Also included are the number of males and females in each training group. The language background was comparable in all three groups.

Thus, the training groups were comparable regarding their enjoyment and willingness to participate. Taken together, the analyses of the control variables indicated that all groups could be considered as comparable. Phonological awareness was assessed prior and after the period of training to establish a specific causal relationship between music training and phonological awareness. All three groups were below average percentile rank 11—24 for every subtest, except for subtest 1 segmentation of words into syllables for the music group and the phonological skills group both lower than average, percentile rank 25— At the post-test, analysis of variances ANOVAs with repeated measures were used to find treatment effects in the groups, in a first step for the total score of phonological awareness and in a second and third step for the composite scores for large and small phonological units.

In the case of a significant interaction between the groups and the treatments, separate ANOVAs with repeated measures comparing each treatment group music, phonological skills to the sports control group were conducted as well as ANOVAs with repeated measures comparing the two treatment groups. Furthermore, t -tests specified the differences between the groups. This approach was considered reasonable for analyzing the process of intervention.

In a first step, the total score for phonological awareness was entered in a 3 group: Mean phonological awareness score for the total score of phonological awareness at pre- and post-test in the music group, the phonological skills group, and the sports group.

For the comparison between the music group and the sports control group, the total score of phonological awareness was entered in a 2 group: Phonological awareness improved significantly from pre-test to post-test. For the comparison between the phonological skills group and the sports control group, the total score of phonological awareness was entered into a 2 group: For the comparison of the two treatment groups, the total score of phonological awareness was entered into a 2 group: Taken together, after the period of training, the phonological skills group showed a significant increase in the total score for phonological awareness compared to the sports control group.

None of the other group comparisons revealed significant differences. Therefore, the composite score for large phonological units was entered into a 3 group: Mean phonological awareness score for large phonological units at pre- and post-test in the music group, the phonological skills group, and the sports control group.

Hence, after the period of training, both treatment groups showed a significant increase in the composite score for large phonological units compared to the sports control group. The comparison of the two treatment groups did not reveal a significant difference. Thus, the composite score for small phonological units was entered into a 3 group: In light of these findings, no further statistical analysis for the phonological awareness on the phoneme level was conducted. Mean phonological awareness score for small phonological units at pre- and post-test in the music group, the phonological skills group, and the sport control group.

The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a music program on phonological awareness in preschoolers from immigrant families. This effect was compared to the effect of a phonological skills program that directly addresses phonological awareness, and a sports program from which no effect on phonological awareness was expected. Accordingly, preschoolers from immigrant families were randomly assigned to a music program, a phonological skills program, or a sports program that served as the control group. Children were trained in small groups, three times a week for 20 min per session, over a period of 14 weeks.

Before and after the training period, participants were individually tested on phonological awareness. Furthermore, no differences in phonological awareness total score, large phonological units, small phonological units were revealed at the pre-test. Randomization yielded comparable groups. At the post-test, a positive effect of the music program and the phonological skills program was revealed in phonological awareness of large phonological units.

Both treatment groups improved significantly in phonological awareness of large phonological units, in contrast to the sports control group, which showed only a slight increase. In addition, the phonological skills group showed a significant increase in the total score of phonological awareness, which comprises large and small phonological units, compared to the sports control group. All three groups showed a similar development in phonological awareness of small phonological units, indicating an overall effect of maturation.

Thus, this study provides evidence that the music program as well as the phonological skills program promote phonological awareness in preschoolers of immigrant families, particularly phonological awareness of large phonological units. More than half of the children reported speaking no German or only little German at home with their families. Accordingly, the rare opportunity to practice the second language in the home environment and the missing language model for the grammatical structure Tracy, were possible reasons for the poor German language level that many children had.

Despite language barriers and different ethnical backgrounds, the music training program conveyed extensive competencies.

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The participants were familiarized with more than 30 songs for children, they learned the names of different percussion instruments, and they learned how to play them. Additionally and unconsciously, the music training program increased their ability of phonological awareness in a second language. Thus, the current result is remarkable because such a heterogeneous group of preschoolers profited from a comprehensive music training program in a particular and important ability for schooling, namely phonological awareness.

This result is consistent with previous findings of Lamb and Gregory as well as Anvari et al. Their correlational studies revealed an association between musical abilities and phonological awareness in 4- and 5-year-old children, although their participants did not come from immigrant families. However, both studies lacked a control group without music, so the general role of music training remained unclear. Therefore, the present study emphasizes the importance of a control group.

Original Research ARTICLE

Due to the sports control group receiving the same amount of training time as the experimental groups, any effects of extra attention were excluded. Furthermore, it is possible to infer the degree of increase in phonological awareness between the treatment music, phonological skills and control sports programs. Gromko revealed a significant increase in phonological awareness by training kindergarten children with a music program for 4 months. However, this study was based on a pseudo-random assignment of the children to the treatment or the no-treatment control group.

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This meant that there was no control for systematic differences between the groups, which in turn limited the comparability of the groups. In addition, it is possible that the treatment group represented an effect of extra attention compared to the no-treatment control group. Thus, systematic differences between the groups were ruled out. Due to this approach, it was possible to establish a specific causal relationship between music training and phonological awareness, especially on the word level.

The study from Herrera et al. In contrast, our study used a comprehensive music training program that is primarily appropriate for early music education. Following our results, a conventional music training program that is not explicitly designed for promoting phonological skills, still enhances phonological awareness in preschoolers of immigrants.

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The results of this study match with the OPERA hypothesis from Patel because the music program reflects all conditions: Furthermore, the revealed effect is in line with the hypothesis of Besson et al. Music training promotes timing precision. This higher precision also benefits speech sound perception, which is important for phonological awareness.

Nevertheless, there is no evidence in this study that music training enhances phonological awareness of small phonological units. This model especially predicts effects on the phoneme level because of the postulated categorical building blocks of notes and phonemes that are related to each other. Furthermore, the mentioned hypotheses from Besson et al. Accordingly, important auditory parameters, such as frequency and duration Besson et al. Possibly, the training period of 14 weeks was too short to affect the auditory sensitivity on such an absolutely precise level that is important for the extraction and manipulation of phonemes.

In contrast, Moritz et al. The replication of their data provides evidence that the music program has a larger effect size compared to the phonological skills program. Concerning small phonological units, the effects of maturation and preschool activities in the kindergartens Marx, could be possible explanations for the similar development across the three groups. This study reduced the training phase from 20 weeks to 14 weeks.

Furthermore, the frequency of training was changed from 10 min every day to three times a week for 20 min each. These reductions made it possible and convenient for the kindergartens to include the study program in their schedule. Hence, our study also showed that it is possible to train phonological awareness with music in a non-daily routine. In addition, we revealed that it is possible to elongate learning periods for the preschoolers to 20 min without losing an effect on learning outcome.

It is obvious that the children enjoyed the programs equally, because all participants showed high mean scores, and all programs were designed explicitly for preschoolers. However, it might be possible that the children in the music group enjoyed the training more because musical activity is known to induce positive emotions as well as to inspire and motivate Hesse, Children of immigrant families may especially benefit from the inspiring and motivating aspect of music that facilitates learning processes Wolf et al.

The music program only addresses phonological awareness indirectly, whereas the phonological skills program is explicitly designed to train phonological awareness. A limitation of this study is the lack of control mechanisms during the training phase. It remains unclear whether children used any kind of language support during the training phase, such as the parents practicing phonological awareness with the children at home or that children started a language course apart from the kindergarten.

In this experiment, a questionnaire addressed these issues only prior to the start of the training. Future research should control these influences by sending questionnaires to the parents at given dates during the training phase. Unfortunately, this experiment had no follow-up measure, which would be desirable to analyze the sustainability of the effects. However, participating children in this study were between 4 and 6 years old.

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A follow-up measure, perhaps 1 year later, would mean that at least some of these children would go to school, and schooling causes a high increase in phonological awareness Marx, The comparability between the groups could not be guaranteed anymore, except that the school children would be eliminated; that, in turn, diminishes the sample size. This study consisted of only a small sample size in the treatment and control groups. One reason for this was due to difficulties in the recruitment of the participants due to language barriers.

Despite the small sample size in this study, we found a large effect size of music training on phonological awareness, especially, on the word level comprising blending, segmentation, and rhyming. The result of this study indicates a specific causation between music training and the promotion of phonological awareness in children of immigrants.

Thus, a comprehensive music program could be used as an additional opportunity to promote phonological skills in children of immigrant families. All authors developed the concept. HP conducted the study and wrote the first draft of the manuscript. All authors contributed to and have approved the final manuscript.

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

The following references to a possible giftedness are most likely to apply to Jonas:

The authors would like to thank the children and parents who participated in this study as well as the kindergartens for their support. This research was supported by a graduate scholarship from the Justus-Liebig-University, Giessen, Germany. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal List Front Psychol v. Published online Oct Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. This article was submitted to Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience, a section of the journal Frontiers in Psychology.

Received Aug 5; Accepted Oct 7. The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author s or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice.

No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms. Abstract Children of immigrant families often have great difficulties with language and disadvantages in schooling. Phonological Awareness Phonological awareness describes the understanding, detection, and manipulation of a language sound system on two levels: Music Training and Phonological Awareness From the beginning of life, music and language are connected with each other; both consist of auditory stimuli, are generically structured, and deliver messages Lehrdahl and Jackendoff, Objectives Investigating the effect of a music program on phonological awareness in children of immigrant families is desirable and necessary as little research on this topic has thus far been conducted.

Table 1 Reported languages spoken at home by the immigrant families. Open in a separate window. Material Training Programs Children were trained for 20 min three times a week for a period of 14 weeks. Procedure Information sheets for the study, informed consent forms, and the sociodemographic questionnaires were handed out to the parents of the preschoolers. Control Variables Differences in gender, age, sociodemographic data music experience of children and parents, socioeconomic status, language background , and intelligence among the music group, the phonological skills group, and the sport group were compared.

Phonological Awareness Phonological awareness was assessed prior and after the period of training to establish a specific causal relationship between music training and phonological awareness. Discussion The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a music program on phonological awareness in preschoolers from immigrant families. Limitations and Future Directions A limitation of this study is the lack of control mechanisms during the training phase. Author Contributions All authors developed the concept. Conflict of Interest Statement The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

Acknowledgments The authors would like to thank the children and parents who participated in this study as well as the kindergartens for their support. Relations among musical skills, phonological processing, and early reading ability in preschool children. Transfer of training between music and speech: Phonological awarness and early reading: Can music be used to teach reading? Twelve months of active musical training in 8-to year-old children enhances the preattentive processing of syllabic duration and voice onset time.

Does music instruction help children to read. Music Today 9 26— Language and music programs. The relationship of French immersion education to tonal skills of first and fourth grade Canadian children. The effect of a music program on phonological awareness in preschoolers. The relationship between musical ability and literacy skills. Early language learning with and without music. Music training for the development of speech segmentation. Does music training enhance literacy skills? The effect of music instruction on phonemic awareness in beginning readers.

Effects of phonological and musical training on the reading readiness of native- and foreign-Spanish-speaking children. Wissenschafltiche Grundlagen des Musik-Erlebens. The Foundations of Literacy. Music training and rate of presentation as mediateors of text and song recall. Towards a neural basis of music perception. The relationship between music and reading in beginning readers. An overview of hierarchical sturcture in music. Effects of an extensive program for stimulating phonological awareness in preschool children. Musical training influences linguistic abilities in 8-year-old children: Links between early rhythm skills, musical training, and phonological awareness.

Music, Language, and the Brain. Why would musical training benefit the neural encoding of speech? Can nonlinguistic musical training chance the way the brain processes speech? Training phonological skills and letter knowledge in children at risk for dyslexia: Similar cerebral networks in language, music and song perception. Getting ready for reading: Auditory-motor entrainment and phonological skills: The main quality characteristics of this. Fribourg offers companies a highly favorable environment for innovation: Freiburg bietet Unternehmen ein ausgezeichnetes Innovationsumfeld: W i t h bilingualism , t he recitals are, on the one hand, comprehensible and interesting for t h e German s e ni ors of the [ At the time, the policy was conceived mainly.

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