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ERIC Number: ED300112
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1986-Sep
Pages: 32
Abstractor: N/A
The Relationship between the Learning of English and the Learning of a 'Second Language' in Pre-Schoolers.
Chang, Agnes Shook Cheong
Are young children able to become competent in two languages simultaneously? In an attempt to answer this question, Singaporean Chinese, Malay, and Indian children of 3.5 through 6 years of age who attended six different types of preschool centers were grouped into age bands separated by an interval of 6 months and were given four English tests and two "second language" tests of Chinese (Mandarin), Malay, or Tamil. Language-related abilities assessed were auditory discrimination, concept of print, word knowledge, verbal fluency in English, and word knowledge and verbal fluency in the three second languages. Results are discussed in three sections comparing age and interval data, two contrasting types of preschool centers, and children in the three ethnic groups. Findings indicated that the younger preschoolers had difficulties in simultaneously learning English and a second language. Analysis of data from both private and nonprivate centers showed that the level of difficulty varied according to the degree of exposure to the languages and the socioeconomic background of the subjects. Though some indications of difficulty in the bilingual learning of English and Malay were found, they were weaker than those related to the simultaneous learning of Chinese and English. (RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Singapore