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The Effects of Language Mixing on Word Learning and Comprehension in Bilingual 3-year-olds

Title:

The Effects of Language Mixing on Word Learning and Comprehension in Bilingual 3-year-olds

Jardak, Amel (2017) The Effects of Language Mixing on Word Learning and Comprehension in Bilingual 3-year-olds. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

ABSTRACT
The Effects of Language Mixing on Word Learning and Comprehension in Bilingual 3-year-olds
Amel Jardak

One challenge bilingual children face in their learning environment is language mixing (Bail et al., 2015; Byers-Heinlein, 2013), which occurs when two languages appear in the same sentence or conversation. Recent research shows that children are slower to process familiar words that occur at the point of language mixing (Byers-Heinlein et al., 2017). How does language mixing in the middle of a sentence affect the comprehension and the learning of words that occur after the mixed-input? We tested 3-year-old French-English bilinguals in two studies. In Study 1, children were tested on their comprehension of a noun that occurred either in a single-language sentence (e.g., “Look! Can you find the pretty cow?”) or following a mixed-language adjective (e.g., “Look! Can you find la jolie cow?”). We found that language mixing had no effect on the comprehension of following familiar nouns. In Study 2, children were taught two words, one in a single-language sentence (e.g., “Look! Do you see the dog on the teelo?”) and one in a mixed-language sentence (e.g., “Look! Do you see the chien on the walem?). We found that although children could correctly identify the novel target on both single- and mixed- language sentences, they were only able to learn the novel word that was taught in a single-language sentence. These results suggest that language mixing poses a challenge to word learning. Overall, these two studies demonstrate that the effects of language mixing on language acquisition depend both on the type of mixing and the type of language task.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Jardak, Amel
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Psychology
Date:30 August 2017
Thesis Supervisor(s):Byers-Heinlein, Krista
ID Code:982895
Deposited By: AMEL JARDAK
Deposited On:10 Nov 2017 14:16
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:56
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