Matching Items (9)

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Spanish grammatical gender knowledge in young heritage speakers

Description

Purpose: The present study examined grammatical gender use in child Spanish heritage speakers (HSs) in order to determine whether the differences observed in their grammar, when compared to Spanish monolinguals,

Purpose: The present study examined grammatical gender use in child Spanish heritage speakers (HSs) in order to determine whether the differences observed in their grammar, when compared to Spanish monolinguals, stem from an incompletely acquired grammar, in which development stops, or from a restructuring process, in which features from the dominant and the weaker language converge to form a new grammatical system. In addition, this study evaluated whether the differences usually found in comprehension are also present in production. Finally, this study evaluates if HSs differences are the result of the input available to them.

Method: One-hundred and four typically developing children, 48 HSs and 58 monolingual, were selected based on two age groups (Preschool vs. 3rd Grade). Two comprehension and three production experimental tasks were designed for the three different grammatical structures where Spanish expresses gender (determiners, adjectives, and clitic pronouns). Linear mixed-models were used to examine main effects between groups and grammatical structures.

Results: Results from this study showed that HSs scored significantly lower than monolingual speakers in all tasks and structures; however, 3rd-Grade HSs had higher accuracy than PK-HSs. Error patterns were similar between monolinguals and HSs. Moreover, the commonly reported overgeneralization of the masculine form seems to decrease as HSs get older.

Conclusion: These results suggest that HSs’ do not face a case of Incomplete Acquisition or Restructured Grammatical gender system, but instead follow a protracted language development in which grammatical skills continue to develop after preschool years and follow the same developmental patterns as monolingual children

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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Latent language ability groups in bilingual children across three methods of assessment

Description

Differentiating bilingual children with primary language impairment (PLI) from those with typical development in the process of learning a second language has been a challenge. Studies have focused on improving

Differentiating bilingual children with primary language impairment (PLI) from those with typical development in the process of learning a second language has been a challenge. Studies have focused on improving the diagnostic accuracy of language measures for bilinguals. However, researchers are faced with two main challenges when estimating the diagnostic accuracy of new measures: (a) using an a priori diagnosis of children (children with and without PLI), as a reference may introduce error given there is no gold standard for the a priori classification; and (b) classifying children into only two groups may be another source of error given evidence that there may be more than two language ability groups with different strengths and weaknesses or, alternatively, a single group characterized by a continuum of language performance. The current study tested for the number of distinct language ability groups and their characteristics in predominately Spanish-speaking children in the U.S. without using an a priori classification as a reference. In addition, the study examined to what extent the latent groups differed on each measure, and the stability of language ability groups across three assessment methods in Spanish (standardized tests, language sample analyses, and comprehensive assessment), taking in to account English and non-verbal cognitive skills. The study included 431 bilingual children attending English-only education. Three latent profile analyses were conducted, one for each method of assessment. Results suggested more than two distinct language ability groups in the population with the method of assessment influencing the number and characteristics of the groups. Specifically, four groups were estimated based on the comprehensive assessment, and three based on standardized assessment or language sample analysis in Spanish. The stability of the groups was high on average, particularly between the comprehensive assessment and the standardized measures. Results indicate that an a priori classification of children into two groups, those with and without PLI, could lead to misclassification, depending on the measures used.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Negation and NegP developmental steps in bilingual Spanish/English children

Description

This study explores the development of negation and the Negation Phrase (NegP) in bilingual children learning both English and Spanish. I analyze the speech of four children growing up in

This study explores the development of negation and the Negation Phrase (NegP) in bilingual children learning both English and Spanish. I analyze the speech of four children growing up in the United States who are learning English and Spanish simultaneously in order to establish steps of parameter setting for negation. The transcripts have been taken from Pérez-Bazán’s bilingual corpus from CHILDES (Child Language Data Exchange System). The thorough analysis of the selected corpus data gathered from children ages 2;0 and 3;3 determines the steps children follow in order to develop mastery of negation and the NegP.

This study is an addition to the body of research surrounding language acquisition and the concept of Universal Grammar’s Principles and Parameters framework. The bases for this study is Klima & Bellugi’s (1968) established three steps for acquisition of negation by children in English, as well as Zeijlstra’s (2004) analysis of languages in regards to phases of the Jespersen cycle. The data of this study suggest that there are five basic steps to parameter setting, and that as utterances become syntactically more complex, children value uninterpretable features with interpretable ones. This is seen in both languages studied. The parameters categorized based on the data available for this study are the following: 1) negative particle outside of the VP, 2) NegP creation and development with preverbal negative marker, 3) Negative Concord (NC), 4) True Imperatives (banned or not), and 5) Negative Polarity Items (NPI).

Also important is the placement of the NegP, as it is above the TP in Spanish and c-commanded by the TP in English. The development of the NegP and uninterpretable negation [uNeg] valuation by interpretable negation [iNeg] is also explored in the utterances of the four children studied.

This study confirms Klima & Bellugi’s account of steps and further defines child negation in English as well as in Spanish. The focus on [iNeg] and [uNeg] features is further explained using Zeijlstra’s Phases of the Jespersen cycle as a springboard. I add salient information regarding parameter setting and how negation and the NegP are developed across two languages.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Saudi mothers' attitudes towards their children's bilingual language practices in the United States

Description

The largest scholarship program of its kind worldwide, the King Abdullah Scholarship Program, which began in 2005, allowed any Saudi Arabian citizen admitted into an approved higher education institution worldwide

The largest scholarship program of its kind worldwide, the King Abdullah Scholarship Program, which began in 2005, allowed any Saudi Arabian citizen admitted into an approved higher education institution worldwide to receive a full scholarship, allowing more than 200,000 students to study abroad. A large portion of the Saudi scholarship students commonly study abroad with their families; either they have young children or are newly married and have children while they are in the United States. Since these children are primarily exposed to English environments in their communities, daycare centers and schools during their time in the United States, they often face challenges to learn Arabic other than at home with their parents. This dynamic can pose many challenges for the children and their families when returning to and adapting back to life in Saudi Arabia, linguistically, educationally and culturally. This research aims at: 1) investigating the language context of the Saudi mothers and children abroad, 2) understanding Saudi mothers' attitudes towards their children’s bilingualism in the United States and, 3) highlighting Saudi mothers’ roles in supporting language skill and the development of their children while living outside of Saudi Arabia. To achieve this, data was collected using three qualitative methods: interviews and brief surveys with Saudi mothers, and observation of their children in their playrooms. The findings suggest that educators in Saudi Arabia should be aware that those returning may sometimes need assistance to be able to fit linguistically in the community.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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Nonword item generation: predicting item difficulty in nonword repetition

Description

The current study employs item difficulty modeling procedures to evaluate the feasibility of potential generative item features for nonword repetition. Specifically, the extent to which the manipulated item features affect

The current study employs item difficulty modeling procedures to evaluate the feasibility of potential generative item features for nonword repetition. Specifically, the extent to which the manipulated item features affect the theoretical mechanisms that underlie nonword repetition accuracy was estimated. Generative item features were based on the phonological loop component of Baddelely's model of working memory which addresses phonological short-term memory (Baddeley, 2000, 2003; Baddeley & Hitch, 1974). Using researcher developed software, nonwords were generated to adhere to the phonological constraints of Spanish. Thirty-six nonwords were chosen based on the set item features identified by the proposed cognitive processing model. Using a planned missing data design, two-hundred fifteen Spanish-English bilingual children were administered 24 of the 36 generated nonwords. Multiple regression and explanatory item response modeling techniques (e.g., linear logistic test model, LLTM; Fischer, 1973) were used to estimate the impact of item features on item difficulty. The final LLTM included three item radicals and two item incidentals. Results indicated that the LLTM predicted item difficulties were highly correlated with the Rasch item difficulties (r = .89) and accounted for a substantial amount of the variance in item difficulty (R2 = .79). The findings are discussed in terms of validity evidence in support of using the phonological loop component of Baddeley's model (2000) as a cognitive processing model for nonword repetition items and the feasibility of using the proposed radical structure as an item blueprint for the future generation of nonword repetition items.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Raising children bilingually in mixed marriages: stories of four Vietnamese-Caucasian families

Description

This study examines the experiences of parents in mixed marriages (Vietnamese married to non-Vietnamese) raising their children in the United States. Specifically, this study focused on what factors influence parents'

This study examines the experiences of parents in mixed marriages (Vietnamese married to non-Vietnamese) raising their children in the United States. Specifically, this study focused on what factors influence parents' development of family language policies and patterns of language use. While research has been done on language policy and planning at the macro-level and there are an increasing number of studies on family language policy at the microlevel, few studies have focused on couples in mixed marriages who are heritage language speakers of the language they are trying to teach their children. This study used both surveys and interviews to gather data about parents' beliefs and attitudes towards bilingualism and the heritage language (HL), strategies parents are using to teach their children the HL, and major challenges they face in doing so. There were three main findings. First, parents without full fluency in the HL nevertheless are able to pass the HL on to their children. Second, an important factor influencing parents' family language policies and patterns of language use were parents' attitudes towards the HL--specifically, if parents felt it was important for their children to learn the HL and if parents were willing to push their children to do so. Third, proximity to a large Vietnamese community and access to Vietnamese resources (e.g., Vietnamese language school, Vietnamese church/temple, etc.) did not assure families' involvement in the Vietnamese community or use of the available Vietnamese resources. The findings of this study reveal that though language shift is occurring in these families, parents are still trying to pass on the HL to their children despite the many challenges of raising them bilingually in the U.S.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Second language proficiency in sequential bilingual Children with and without primary language impairment

Description

Identification of primary language impairment (PLI) in sequential bilingual children is challenging because of the interaction between PLI and second language (L2) proficiency. An important step in improving the accurate

Identification of primary language impairment (PLI) in sequential bilingual children is challenging because of the interaction between PLI and second language (L2) proficiency. An important step in improving the accurate diagnosis of PLI in bilingual children is to investigate how differences in L2 performance are affected by a length of L2 exposure and how L2 assessment contributes to differentiation between children with and without PLI at different L2 proficiency levels. Sixty one children with typical language development (TD) ages 5;3-8 years and 12 children with PLI ages 5;5-7;8 years participated. Results revealed that bilingual children with and without PLI, who had between 1 and 3 years of L2 exposure, did not differ in mean length of utterance (MLU), number of different words, percent of maze words, and performance on expressive and receptive grammatical tasks in L2. Performance on a grammaticality judgment task by children with and without PLI demonstrated the largest effect size, indicating that it may potentially contribute to identification of PLI in bilingual populations. In addition, children with PLI did not demonstrate any association between the length of exposure and L2 proficiency, suggesting that they do not develop their L2 proficiency in relation to length of exposure in the same manner as children with TD. Results also indicated that comprehension of grammatical structures and expressive grammatical task in L2 may contribute to differentiation between the language ability groups at the low and intermediate-high proficiency levels. The discriminant analysis with the entire sample of bilingual children with and without PLI revealed that among L2 measures, only MLU contributed to the discrimination between the language ability groups. However, poor classification accuracy suggested that MLU alone is not a sufficient predictor of PLI. There were significant differences among L2 proficiency levels in children with TD in MLU, number of different words, and performance on the expressive and receptive grammatical tasks in L2, indicating that L2 proficiency level may potentially impact the differentiation between language difficulties due to typical L2 acquisition processes and PLI.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Exploring the intersections of local language policies and emergent bilingual learner identities: a comparative classroom study at an urban Arizona school

Description

This multilevel, institutional case study used ethnographic methods to explore the intersections of local language policies and emergent bilingual students’ identities in dual language and structured English immersion (SEI) classrooms

This multilevel, institutional case study used ethnographic methods to explore the intersections of local language policies and emergent bilingual students’ identities in dual language and structured English immersion (SEI) classrooms at one urban elementary school. Using a sociocultural policy approach as means to explore the ways that educational language policies are appropriated and practiced in schools and classrooms and an intersectional literacy identity framework, I engaged in a multilevel qualitative analysis of one school, two fifth-grade classrooms, and four focal emergent bilingual students. At the school and classroom levels, I sought to understand the ways educators practiced and enacted language policies as well as how they conceptualized (bi)literacy for emergent bilingual students. At the student level, I engaged in identity-text writing sessions designed around student interests yet aligned with the opinion/argumentation writing style the students were working on in class at the time of data collection. Additionally, I conducted one-on-one interviews with the participants at each level of analysis (i.e. school-level, classroom-level, and student-level). The primary data analysis sources included participant interviews, classroom observations, and student identity-text artifacts.

Findings highlight the dynamic in-school and classroom-level realities of emergent bilingual students in an Arizona educational-language policy context. Specifically, at the school level, there was an ongoing tension between compliance and resistance to state-mandated policies for emergent bilingual students. At the school and classroom levels, there were distinct differences in the ways students across the two classrooms were positioned within the larger school environment as well as variation surrounding how language and culture were positioned as a resource in each classroom context. The role of teachers as language policymakers is also explored through the findings. Analysis of student texts revealed the centrality of intersectional student identities throughout the writing processes. The discussion and conclusions more broadly address implications for educational practice, policy, and future research directions.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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Mexican-origin circumstantial bilingual: the child, the parent, the advocate

Description

In order to adapt to a new culture and new language, children of immigrant families are faced daily with the responsibility of being the intermediaries between the family and the

In order to adapt to a new culture and new language, children of immigrant families are faced daily with the responsibility of being the intermediaries between the family and the host culture through their language proficiency (Weisskirch & Alva, 2002). This thesis looks into the experiences of English-Spanish bilingual children as they bridge the gap between the family and the non-Spanish speaking community through their interpreting/translating skills. With an emphasis on children of Mexican-origin, the goal is to further understand and illuminate how these children manage this communication in an adult society, their feelings and thoughts about their experiences, and the child's perceptions about the influence that this experience may or may not have on their future. A sample of seventeen children agreed to participate in a semi-structured face-to-face interview to share their experiences. The data from these interviews were analyzed using a thematic analysis approach (Braun & Clarke, 2006). A priori themes of circumstantial bilingual and adaptive parentification were the initial focus of the research while being open to emerging themes. The children's accounts of their experiences indicated primarily that the Mexican-origin values of familism and respeto (respect) were a significant influence on them when they interpreted/translated for their family. With these traditional cultural values and norms as the groundwork, the sub-themes of normalcy and stress emerged as supportive elements of the circumstantial bilingual experience. Furthermore, the theme of adaptive parentification and the sub-themes of choice, expectation/responsibility to assist, and equality to parents offered further insight on how adaptive parentification can result as the roles of these children change. There was an emergent theme, identity negotiation, which increases our understanding of what the circumstantial bilingual child encounters as the attempt is made to negotiate his identity as an individual who has to mediate language between two opposing cultures. Due to the language brokering responsibility that are bestowed upon these children, it is concluded that communicative support by the parents is a necessary component of the parent-child relationship in order to nurture and develop these children as they negotiate and create their identity to become the successful leaders of tomorrow.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013