Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schneider, Universität Würzburg
March 2008 to August 2010
Studies on reading skills development in the German-speaking area have shown that children and adolescents of non-native language are heavily overrepresented in the group of poor readers. Most of the analyses identifying differences between poor and good readers, however, were conducted without taking into account the migration or language background of the participants. The planned study will analyse competency profiles of weak readers with and without migration background in a sample of 20 schools. For this purpose, a set of tests has to be developed to access phonological awareness, working memory, listening comprehension and knowledge of patterns of language. It is assumed that, in particular, listening comprehension and knowledge of patterns of language form a particular barrier for second language reading skills. The analyses will provide an important informative basis for supports to prevent weak reading skills. Furthermore, the newly developed investigation procedures will provide computer-based tests that can be used in forthcoming studies examining the effectiveness of supportive measures.