Monolingual Children (monolingual + child)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

The role of type and token frequency in using past tense morphemes correctly

Elena Nicoladis
Type and token frequency have been thought to be important in the acquisition of past tense morphology, particularly in differentiating regular and irregular forms. In this study we tested the role of frequency in two ways: (1) in bilingual children, who typically use and hear either language less often than monolingual children and (2) cross-linguistically: French and English have different patterns of frequency of regular/irregular verbs. Ten French-English bilingual children, 10 French monolingual and 10 English monolingual children between 4 and 6 years watched a cartoon and re-told the story. The results demonstrated that the bilingual children were less accurate than the monolingual children. Their accuracy in both French and English regular and irregular verbs corresponded to frequency in the input language. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that children learn past tense morphemes by analogy with other words in their vocabularies. We propose a developmental sequence based on conservative generalization across a growing set of verbs. [source]

The early identification of dyslexia: Children with English as an additional language

DYSLEXIA, Issue 3 2004
Jane M. Hutchinson
Abstract It is generally accepted that dyslexia should be identified early for interventions to have maximum effect. However, when children speak English as an additional language (EAL), diagnosis is more complex and there is concern that these children tend to be under-identified. This paper reports a longitudinal study following the development of phonological awareness skills in relation to progress in learning to read with a cohort of British Asian children learning EAL and their monolingual peers. It also sought to determine the usefulness of a measure of phonological skills for the identification of dyslexic-type difficulties in children learning EAL. Analysis revealed that both cohorts achieved similar levels of reading accuracy in school Years 2, 4 and 6, with higher levels of reading comprehension for the monolingual children and faster reading fluency for children learning EAL in each school year. There was a similar pattern of relationships between the reading measures and measures of phonological awareness for both groups of children. However, monolingual children achieved higher levels of rhyme detection and alliteration fluency whilst the children learning EAL achieved faster number naming times. Overall, a phonological assessment battery was useful in identifying reading accuracy related difficulties in both groups of children. However, concerns are raised about the sensitivity of such measures following the introduction of the Literacy Hour. Copyright 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Phonological awareness in monolingual and bilingual English and Greek five-year-olds

Maria Loizou
This study examined and compared levels of phonological awareness in monolingual and bilingual English and Greek five-year-olds. Sixty-eight children from Britain and Cyprus, matched on the basis of age, gender, non-verbal and verbal IQ, were assigned to four groups: two bilingual (English-Greek, Greek-English) and two monolingual (English, Greek). Performance of the four groups on a set of six phonological tasks was compared. Bilingual children were given both English and Greek versions of the tasks; monolingual children were given the phonological tasks in their mother tongue only. Given the results of previous research, it was predicted that bilingual children would show higher levels of phonological awareness than monolingual. The children tested in Britain were already being taught to read in school, whereas those tested in Cyprus were not. On the basis of previous research, it was further predicted that there would also be effects of learning to read in an alphabetic language, such that the bilingual children tested in Britain would show higher levels of phonological awareness at the level of the phoneme than their counterparts tested in Cyprus. Results showed that the bilingual English-Greek children significantly outperformed the monolingual English children, but this pattern was not replicated in the bilingual Greek-English/monolingual Greek comparisons. This difference is discussed in terms of the bilingual enhancement effect, which, according to the present data, seems to occur only when bilingual children are exposed to a second language that is phonologically simpler than their first language. Results also showed that English-Greek bilingual children performed significantly better than Greek-English bilinguals, especially on tasks requiring phoneme awareness. This accords well with suggestions that learning to read in an alphabetic language promotes this level of phonological awareness. [source]

The developmental progression of comprehension-related skills in children learning EAL

Jane M. Hutchinson
Many children who speak English as an additional language (EAL) underachieve in areas of English literacy, especially in the primary years. These difficulties are often attributed to low levels of English language fluency as they enter the education system. In an effort to provide a greater understanding of this underachievement, the cognitive-linguistic factors underlying literacy development in monolingual children and children learning EAL were examined in a three-year longitudinal project. The project, conducted in schools in the north of England, followed the developmental progression of forty-three children learning EAL and forty-three monolingual children from school years Two to Four. Children were assessed on measures of reading accuracy, reading and listening comprehension, receptive and expressive vocabulary, and reception of grammar. Analysis revealed similarities between the two groups of children on reading accuracy, but children learning EAL had lower levels of vocabulary and comprehension at each point in time. Data are discussed in terms of the development of underlying language skills and the impact of these skills on both reading and listening comprehension. The implications of the findings for classroom practice are considered. [source]

Acquisition of Literacy in Bilingual Children: A Framework for Research

Ellen Bialystok
Much of the research that contributes to understanding how bilingual children become literate is not able to isolate the contribution of bilingualism to the discussion of literacy acquisition for these children. This article begins by identifying three areas of research that are relevant to examining literacy acquisition in bilinguals, explaining the contribution of each, and associating each type of research with a skill required by monolingual children in becoming literate. Three prerequisite skills for the acquisition of literacy are competence with the oral language, understanding of symbolic concepts of print, and establishment of metalinguistic awareness. A review of the literature explores the extent to which these skills that influence literacy acquisition in monolinguals develop differently for bilingual children. The conclusion is that the relation between bilingualism and the development of each of the three skills is different, sometimes indicating an advantage (concepts of print), sometimes a disadvantage (oral language competence), and sometimes little difference (metalinguistic concepts) for bilingual children. Therefore, bilingualism is clearly a factor in children's development of literacy, but the effect of that factor is neither simple nor unitary. Since the publication of this article, our research has continued to explore the themes set out in this framework and provided more detail for the description of how bilingualism affects the acquisition of literacy. Two important advances in this research are the finding that some aspects of reading ability, notably phonological awareness, are rooted in general cognitive mechanisms and transfer easily across languages, whereas others, such as decoding, are more language dependent and language-specific and need to be relearned with each new writing system (Bialystok, Luk, & Kwan, 2005). Second, writing systems and the differences between them have a greater impact on children's acquisition of literacy than previously believed. Not surprisingly, this relation has been found for emerging ability with phonological awareness (Bialystok, McBride-Chang, & Luk, 2005) but, more surprisingly, has recently been shown to have a subtle influence on children's emerging concepts of print (Bialystok & Luk, in press). The interpretation that bilingualism must be considered in terms of both advantages and disadvantages has also been pursued in studies of cognitive and linguistic processing in adults. Recent research has shown that adult bilinguals display disadvantages on tasks measuring lexical retrieval and fluency (Michael & Gollan, 2005) but advantages on tasks assessing cognitive control of attention (Bialystok, Craik, Klein, & Viswanathan, 2004). This approach leads to a more detailed and, ultimately, more accurate description of how bilingualism affects cognitive performance. [source]