ERIC Number: EJ1070664
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Look at the Gato! Code-Switching in Speech to Toddlers
Bail, Amelie; Morini, Giovanna; Newman, Rochelle S.
Journal of Child Language, v42 n5 p1073-1101 Sep 2015
We examined code-switching (CS) in the speech of twenty-four bilingual caregivers when speaking with their 18- to 24-month-old children. All parents CS at least once in a short play session, and some code-switched quite often (over 1/3 of utterances). This CS included both inter-sentential and intra-sentential switches, suggesting that at least some children are frequently exposed to mixed-language sentences. However, we found no evidence that this exposure to CS had any detrimental effect on children's word learning: children's overall vocabulary size did not relate to parental inter-sentential CS behavior, and was positively related to within-sentence CS. Parents often repeated words across their two languages, but this did not appear to increase the likelihood of children having translation equivalents in their vocabulary. In short, parents appear to CS fairly often to young children, even within sentences, but there is no evidence that this delays child lexical acquisition.
Descriptors: Toddlers, Speech Communication, Code Switching (Language), Vocabulary Development, Language Acquisition, Second Language Learning, Bilingualism, Parent Child Relationship, Translation, Incidence, Play, Correlation, Sentences
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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