ERIC Number: ED185594
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Nov
Reference Count: 0
The Syntax of Bilingual Children: A Comparative Study.
Van Metre, Patricia D.
The interview techniques developed by Carol Chomsky were used in a comparative study of the language acquisition of 32 bilingual and monolingual third grade students. After these students were matched for age, socioeconomic status, IQ, family environment (both parents in the home), and reading ability, they were placed in four group--bilingual-high reading ability (BH), bilingual-low (BL), monolingual-high (MH), and monolingual-low (ML). Over a period of two weeks, the four boys and four girls in each group were interviewed in four situations designed to have students determine implicit subjects (ask/tell), verbs (promise/tell), underlying relationships not expressed in surface structure, and pronominalizations. The major group differences that were found for these patterns of language development were between high/low reading achievement groups, not between bilingual and monolingual children. Chomsky's major findings were confirmed, showing the late acquisition of some syntactic structures and the wide range of differences in rate of acquisition among children. But acquisition of the selected grammatical structures was found to be a function of individual development rather than age. Some of the data also raised questions regarding the order of acquisition within the supposed hierarchy of language constructions. Another significant finding that differed with Chomsky's findings was that ask/tell and promise structures were not known by all children over nine years old. (RL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Rocky Mountain Educational Research Association (Albuquerque, NM, November 1-4, 1978).