Language skills are essential for acquiring all knowledge, including natural sciences. So far, few scientists have attempted to systematically explore the interrelationships between both areas. Two three-year studies on the impact of early science education were started at the end of 2013. One of them covers language. The sub-study EASI Science-L (Early Steps into Science and Literacy), which is jointly supported by Siemens Foundation and the foundation "Haus der kleinen Forscher" ("Little Scientists’ House”) focuses on the interaction between science education and language development.
The research aims to explore if and how language skills can be developed, for example, through describing scientific phenomena and formulating solutions, especially with children whose second language is German. Scientists from different areas of specialization at universities in Koblenz-Landau, Augsburg, and Heidelberg are analyzing the design of teaching-learning situations in science education, the quality of linguistic stimulation in preschools and children’s skills in both areas; 240 children and 60 educational professionals from facilities in Baden-Württemberg and Rheinland-Pfallz are participating in the study.
The parallel study EASI Science (Early Steps into Science) explores how science education impacts science-related skills in preschools. The researchers are focused on the skills of both children and educator professional. The study is supported by Little Scientists’ House and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.