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Effects and moderators of stereotype threat in vocabulary acquisition of students with a Turkish migration background on primary and secondary schools.


Project duration: 01.06.2018 - 31.12.2021


The project investigates the effect of stereotypes on vocabulary acquisition of learners in different age groups.

Project description

Stereotype threat describes the situation that the knowledge of negative stereotype about one´s group (e.g., ethnicity, gender) could threat oneself, which could lead to a confirmation of the stereotype. Numerous studies showed that the stereotype threat effect lowers the achievement, while the achievement prerequisites are the same. It is still unclear, whether the effect also occurs in learning situations. Furthermore the study should help to understand, whether stereotype threat could be an explanation for the lower average language competencies of students with Turkish migration background, because of more negative achievement stereotypes concerning this migrant group. Therefore the advancement of current state of research is to investigate implicit and explicit stereotype threat treatments in vocabulary learning situations (instead of achievement situations). The comparison of different treatments allows causal inference which helps to develop interventions for the vocabulary promotion in German for students with Turkish migration background.

Methods: Six experimental studies with different treatments; text based learning material, tests, questionnaire based scales for the collection of individual characteristics, e.g. about emotions, motivation, effort.

Lead researcher at IFS

Foto von Prof. Dr. Nele McElvany Prof. Dr. Nele McElvany,

Campus Nord, CDI, Room CDI / 232
Telephone: (+49)231 755-5512

Project management

Foto von Dr. Justine Stang Dr. Justine Stang,

Campus Nord, CDI, Room CDI / 237
Telephone: (+49)231 755-5547

Project team

Foto von Sabrina König, M.Sc. Sabrina König, M.Sc.,

Campus Nord, CDI, Room CDI / 238
Telephone: (+49)231 755-8292

External project partners

FU Berlin

Prof. Dr. Bettina Hannover



Leibniz Universität Hannover

Prof. Dr. Lysann Zander



Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Prof. Dr. Oliver T. Wolf


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