ERIC Number: ED278263
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986
Reference Count: 0
English Question Use in Spanish-Speaking ESL Children: Changes with English Language Proficiency.
Lindholm, Kathryn J.
Question development in English as a second language in four native Spanish-speaking children is described. The English questions initiated by four children differing in English proficiency (two limited English speaking and two fluent English speaking) were examined at two points in time to determine how question use changes in the syntactic, pragmatic, and semantic domains as a function of English language proficiency. Examination of the frequency with which various types of syntactic structures, pragmatic functions, and semantic functions appeared in the children's questions revealed that with greater English proficiency, these changes occurred: although there was less reliance on syntactically simpler constructions for wh-questions, syntactically complex wh- and yes/no questions were still infrequent; requests for factual information decreased and questions about personal information increased; there was a decrease in classification questions and an increase in actions/intentions questions. These findings are generally consistent with other studies of English question acquisition in monolingual children and child and adult speakers of English as a second language. Twenty-five references are listed. (Author/MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: California Univ., Los Angeles. Center for Language Education and Research.