Original Research

Realising pre-school mathematical education – a development-oriented math programme with special consideration of phonological language processing aspects

Petra Langhorst
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 3, No 1 | a32 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v3i1.32 | © 2013 Petra Langhorst | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 May 2014 | Published: 01 June 2013

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Petra Langhorst, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany

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Mathematical development processes begin long before school starts and the importance of previous mathematical knowledge for later school achievements is beyond dispute. For a suitable pre-school education, the focus of interest must be to find out which early learning processes prepare children best. In this article, the acquisition of the key concepts of numeracy is presented in a developmental model, which served as framework for a supportive programme for 4-8 year-old children. The research into this intervention shows how development-oriented support of key arithmetic concepts can be constructed and taught systematically. The immediate and sustainable effect of the programme Mina and the Mole on the mathematical competencies of children has already been demonstrated in an evaluation study of 248 children aged 5-7. Considering the strong language-orientation of the programme, the present study focused on aspects of phonological awareness and of phonological working memory. It was evident that these phonological language processing aspects correlated with mathematic skills. Furthermore, it was found that the dominant linguistic focus of the training did not constitute a disadvantage – even linguistically weak children significantly improved their mathematical skills. Moreover, children with poor or average phonological performance could profit from the supportive programme also regarding their phonological language processing.


key concepts of numeracy, phonological language processing, improved mathematical skills


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1. Meerkat Maths – A comprehensive maths learning programme for Grade-R
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South African Journal of Childhood Education  vol: 8  issue: 2  year: 2018  
doi: 10.4102/sajce.v8i2.565