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BiPeer – Facilitating German Reading skills in bilingual primary school children by peer-learning

BiPeer – Facilitating German Reading skills in bilingual primary school children by peer-learning

BiPeer explores ways to support German reading competency of turkish-german bilingual primary school children using peer-learning methods.

Project description

From primary school onwards, immigrant children of Turkish origin show lower German reading competency than their native classmates. BiPeer explores ways of supporting German reading competency in Turkish-German bilingual primary school children using peer-learning methods. Studies have shown that peer-learning programs are an effective method of improving reading competency, particularly in immigrant children. In such peer-learning programs children read to each other and work together on text based exercises. Especially effective for primary school children are those programs, which support reading fluency as well as knowledge of reading strategies and their application.

According to the often raised claim to involve the heritage languages of immigrant students in German lessons the BiPeer project investigates a practical and effective method of utilizing children’s heritage languages in the classroom. Current theories in multilingualism research are hereby considered (Cummins, 2000; Grosjean, 2001). Using an intervention study, the BiPeer project investigates ways in which children’s heritage languages can be used even by teachers who are not multilingual themselves. In this project, children utilize their heritage languages to help one another with German reading competency.

Goals

BiPeer investigates the best possible language background combination for peer-tandems, and explores the language used during the peer-to-peer-interactions.

Hypotheses/research questions

We postulate that the reading competency program will facilitate German reading skills in bilingual children (Hypothesis 1). Regarding the language background of peers we expect German reading competency to improve more in monolingual-bilingual peer-tandems than in bilingual-bilingual tandems (Hypothesis 2), and that German reading competency within bilingual tandems will improve when the children complete the task also using Turkish, compared to when they complete it in German only (Hypothesis 3).

Design and methods

BiPeer is conducted in three phases. Phase 1 (from Summer 2014) includes the development and piloting of the peer-learning intervention for German reading competency. In Phase 2 (starting Autumn 2015), the main intervention study is carried out, and in Phase 3 (starting Summer 2016), the data collected during the study will be analyzed in order to identify the first opportunities for transfer into the practice of teaching. The intervention includes an 8-week reading training program with 240 primary school children in Year 3 and Year 4, which will include three rounds of data collection. The program’s efficacy will be tested by comparing the reading training groups with control groups who have received 8-week training in basic mathematical competences (see Table 1).

Table 1: Intervention design
TG1TG2TG3CG1CG2CG3

Content

Reading 

Reading 

Reading

Mathematics

Mathematics

Mathematics

Language background (Peer 1 + Peer 2)

mG +
bTG

bTG +
bTG

bTG +
bTG

mG +
bTG

bTG +
bTG

bTG +
bTG

Peer communication

German

German

Turkish/ German

German

German

Turkish/ German

Note: mG: monolingual German; bTG: bilingual Turkish/German.

The foundation for BiPeer is provided by the well-evaluated program Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS Reading, Math; Fuchs, Fuchs, Mathes & Simmons, 1997). The duration of each training session is 45 minutes, and each peer-tandem will participate in 16 training sessions (2 per week). EG3 and KG3 are accompanied by bilingual Turkish-German trainers. During the training phase, pre- and post-tests of German reading competency and other relevant variables are planned. Selected training sessions will be recorded and subsequently transcribed for more detailed analysis of the spoken.

Funding

Gefördert vom BMBF

Selected Publications

Rauch, D. P., Jude, N. & Naumann, J. (2012). Metalinguistic awareness mediates effects of full biliteracy on third-language reading proficiency in Turkish–German bilinguals. The International Journal of Bilingualism, 16, 402–418.

Büttner, G., Warwas, J. & Adl-Amini, K. (2012). Kooperatives Lernen und Peer Tutoring im inklusiven Unterricht. Zeitschrift für Inklusion, 1-2. (URL: www.inklusion-online.net/index.php/inklusion)

Further Information

Website: IDeA Center

Mail: bipeer@dipf.de

Project management

Project team

Martin Schastak

Project details

State:
Current projects
Duration:
8/2014 - 07/2017
Funding:
External funding
Department: Department of Educational Quality and Evaluation
last modified May 05, 2015