Birgit Becker
The Impact of Familial Activities on the Verbal and Non-verbal Skills of Children of Turkish Immigrants in Germany

International Research in Early Childhood Education, 2013: 4, Heft 1, S. 91-104
ISSN: 1838-0689

A vast array of studies has demonstrated that stimulating activities within the family (e.g., reading to child, singing together) positively affect children’s development in various domains. However, this influence is less established for children of immigrants. This paper analyses the impact of familial activities on non-verbal cognitive skills and German-language skills of six-year-old children of Turkish immigrants in Germany. It is argued that not only the frequency of familial activities but also the language use during these activities needs to be considered in immigrant families which has rarely been done in the previous literature. Not taking into account the language use during these activities might be especially problematic in the domain of verbal skills. The empirical results show that the frequency of stimulating familial activities is positively associated with children’s verbal and non-verbal skills. In contrast, the language use during these activities only affects children’s language skills but not their non-verbal cognitive skills. It is concluded that the language use during familial activities needs to be taken into account in the case of verbal skills.