ERIC Number: EJ1027453
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
How Symbolic Experience Shapes Children's Symbolic Flexibility
Thom, Emily E.; Sandhofer, Catherine M.
Child Development, v85 n2 p738-754 Mar-Apr 2014
The current experiments asked whether children with dual-symbolic experience (e.g., unimodal bilingual and bimodal) develop a preference for words like monolingual children (Namy & Waxman, 1998). In Experiment 1, ninety-five 18- and 24-month-olds, with monolingual, unimodal bilingual, or bimodal symbolic experience, were tested in their willingness to treat digitized sounds as referents. In Experiment 2, forty-seven 24-month-olds, with the same types of symbolic experience, were tested in their willingness to treat novel words as referents. Monolingual children performed in ways indicative of a growing preference for words, whereas children with dual-symbolic experience performed in ways indicative of consistency in symbolic flexibility over time. Results suggest that the developmental trajectory of children's symbolic flexibility might depend on their symbolic experience.
Descriptors: Toddlers, Preferences, Bilingualism, Monolingualism, Experience, Novelty (Stimulus Dimension), Vocabulary
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
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