ERIC Number: ED454708
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Apr
Language Skills and Literacy Development of English-Japanese Bilingual Children.
This study explores two linguistically alternative options--English and Japanese--available to children from bilingual homes, some of which are immigrant families. To measure each child's bilingual verbal ability, the Bilingual Verbal Ability Tests (BVAT) were administered. Interviews with bilingual children's mothers were conducted. The results of the BVAT revealed that children's English vocabulary usage was highly correlated with their vocabulary usage in Japanese. Scores obtained in Japanese tasks, whether high or low, were mirrored in the scores of the corresponding English tasks. These results suggest that increasing language ability in either language used by bilingual children can accelerate their progress in the other language as well. Nonetheless, the study also revealed that children of Japanese parents performed better in English than in Japanese. Interviews with mothers and fathers revealed that children of Japanese heritage preferred speaking English over Japanese despite their mothers' concerted efforts to maintain Japanese. The implications of these findings hold significant meaning in terms of promoting bilingualism and biculturalism. Tables of data are appended. (Contains 26 references.) (KFT)
Descriptors: Bilingualism, Cultural Maintenance, Elementary Education, Elementary School Students, English (Second Language), Ethnic Groups, Heritage Education, Immigrants, Interviews, Japanese, Japanese Americans, Language Maintenance, Language Minorities, Native Speakers, Parent Influence, Second Language Instruction, Second Language Learning, Uncommonly Taught Languages
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: San Francisco State Univ., CA.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Seattle, WA, April 10-14, 2001).