Prof. Dr. Henrik Saalbach

  (Diese Seite auf Deutsch anzeigen)

Room: Marschnerstr. 31, 215

Phone: +49 (0) 341 97-31260 (office)


during the semester: Tuesdays, 8-9 am
(by appointment)
semester break: by appointment

Education and Career

Since 2015 Professor (W3) for Educational Psychology, Leipzig University
2013-2015 Professor (W3) for Research on Learning and Instruction, Saarland University
2007-2013 Senior Researcher and Lecturer at the Section ‘Research on Learning and Instruction’, Institute of Behavioural Sciences, ETH Zürich
2012-2013 Teaching at the Primary School ‘Letten’ (Zürich)
2008-2012 Lecturer for Educational Psychology and for Didactics of Early Science Teaching at the University of Teacher Education Central Switzerland
2006-2007 Postdoctoral Researcher at Keio University (Japan) and Peking University (China)
2006 Dr. phil. in Psychology at the Technical University of Berlin
2003-2006 PhD student at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development Berlin
2002-2003 Graduate studies at Peking University, China
2002 Diploma in Psychology at the Technical University of Berlin
1999-2000 Studies in Chinese Language at Xiamen University, China
Studies in Cognitive Psychology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences
1996-1999 Student research assistance at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development

Research Interest

Learning and Instruction

Language and Cognitive Development

Bilingualism and Learning

Professional Competencies of Teachers

Conceptual Change

Early Science Learning

Selected Publications

Kempert, S., Schalk, L., & Saalbach, H. (in press). Sprache als Werkzeug des Lernens: Ein Überblick zu den kommunikativen und kognitiven Funktionen der Sprache und deren Bedeutung für den fachlichen Wissenserwerb. Psychologie in Erziehung und Unterricht.

Hahn, C., Saalbach, H., & Grabner, R. (in press). Language-dependent knowledge acquisition: investigating bilingual arithmetic learning. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition.

Schalk, L., Saalbach, H., & Grabner, R. & Stern, E. (2016). Relational quantitative reasoning in kindergarten predicts mathematical achievement in third grade. Journal of Numerical Cognition, 2(2), 77-90.

Schalk L, Saalbach H, Stern E (2016) Approaches to Foster Transfer of Formal Principles: Which Route to Take? PLoS ONE 11(2): e0148787. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0148787

Leuchter, M., & Saalbach, H. (2014). Verbale Unterstützungsmaßnahmen im Rahmen eines naturwissenschaftlichen Lernangebots in Kindergarten und Grundschule [Teachers’ Tutoring activities in the context of science education in Kindergarten and Primary School]. Unterrichtswissenschaft, 42(2), 117-131.

Saalbach, H., Eckstein, D., Andri, N., Hobi, R. & Grabner, R.H. (2013). When language of instruction and language of application differ: Cognitive costs of bilingual mathematics learning. Learning and Instruction, 26, 36-44.

Saalbach, H. (2012). Let’s Finnish Schooling. Science, 336(6087), 1381-1382. doi: 10.1126/science.1222314

Saalbach, H., Imai, M., & Schalk, L. (2012). Grammatical Gender and Inferences About Biological Properties in German-Speaking Children. Cognitive Science, 36(7), 1251-1267. doi: 10.1111/j.1551-6709.2012.01251.x

Kempert, S., Saalbach, H., & Hardy, I. (2011). Cognitive benefits and costs of bilingualism in elementary school students: The case of mathematical word problems. Journal of Educational Psychology, 103(3), 547-561.

Saji, N., Imai, M., Saalbach, H., Zhang, Y., Shu, H., & Okada, H. (2011). Word learning does not end at fast-mapping: Evolution of verb meanings through reorganization of an entire semantic domain. Cognition, 18, 48-64.

Saalbach, H., & Imai, M. (2007). The scope of linguistic influence: Does a classifier system alter object concepts? Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 136 (3), 485-501.

See All Publications

Awards and Fellowships

2018-2021 BMBF-Project „Formative assessment in inclusive science education in Kindergarten (FinK)“ (submitted by Ilonca Hardy, Miriam Leuchter, Mirjam Steffensky)
2017-2018 StiL – „LaborUniversität“(Hochschulpakt Lehre): Project „Peer Assessment“ (submitted by Anika Bürgermeister)
2017-2020 DFG research project „Contributions of verbal and executive processes on cognitive and academic performance in monolingual and bilingual elementary students” (submitted by Henrik Saalbach, Catherine Gunzenhauser, and Julia Karbach)
2016-2017 StiL – „LaborUniversität“ (Hochschulpakt Lehre): Project „Cooperative learning within a cognitively activating seminar concept“ (submitted by Henrik Saalbach and Anika Bürgermeister)
2015-2016 „Lehrpraxis im Transfer“ (LiT): Project „Cognitively activating methods for facilitating theory-practice transfer in teacher training“ (submitted by Henrik Saalbach, Anika Bürgermeister, Robert Wilkens, Roland Biewald, and Hermann Körndle)
2011-2015 Project “Professional competencies of teachers in early science teaching“ funded by Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) (submitted by Henrik Saalbach and Miriam Leuchter)
2008-2011 Project „Bilingual Education and Knowledge Representation: The Case of Mathematics“ funded by Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) (submitted by Henrik Saalbach and Roland Grabner)
2006-2007 Post-Doc Fellowship for Japan and China by the German Academic Exchange Program (DAAD)
2004-2006 Doctoral Fellowship by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES) and by the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes
2004 Pre-doctoral Fellowship by the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)
2003 Award for young researchers by the Developmental Section of the Chinese Psychological Society
2002-2003 Postgraduate Research Fellowship by the German Academic Exchange Program (DAAD)
1997-2001 Study Stipend by the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes

Ad Hoc Review

… Cognition
… Cognitive Science
… Frontiers Psychology
… International Journal of Bilingualism
… International Journal of Psychology
… International Journal of Psychophysiology
… Journal of Experimental Psychology: Language, Memory, and Cognition
… Journal of Psycholinguistic Research
… Journal of Educational Psychology
… Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
… Language and Cognitive Processes
… Memory and Cognition
… Neuroscience
… Psychologie in Erziehung und Unterricht
… Science
… Unterrichtswissenschaften
… Zeitschrift für Grundschulforschung
… Zeitschrift für Pädagogische Psychologie
… Zeitschrift für Entwicklungspsychologie und Pädagogische Psychologie

Other Positions

Vice dean (research) of the faculty of education of Leipzig University

Executive board member of the Leipzig Research Center for Early Child Development

Editor of “Psychologie in Erziehung und Unterricht”

Scientific board member of the center of didactics in higher education of Saxony (HDS)

Professional Activities

Membership of
… European Association for Research in Learning and Instruction (EARLI)
… Cognitive Science Society (CSS)
… Deutsche Gesellschaft für Psychology

Co-founder of the research network “Neurocognitive and Developmental Implications of Multilingual Education” of the University of the Greater Region (Luxembourg University, Saarland University, Trier University)

Founding member of the Special Interest Group (SIG) “Learning and Development in Early Childhood” in the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI)