NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1090683
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Mar
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0305-0009
Kindergarten Children Can Be Taught to Detect Lexical Ambiguities
Kamowski-Shakibai, Margaret T.; Cairns, Helen Smith
Journal of Child Language, v43 n2 p442-456 Mar 2016
This study investigates the development of metalinguistic skills, particularly ambiguity detection, and whether training accelerates this development for prereaders in kindergarten (5;5-6;6). It is the first to compare homophone detection with lexically ambiguous sentence detection in which the same homophones appear. The experimental group received ambiguity detection training; the control group received vocabulary training. Results showed that there is a spontaneous development of homophone detection abilities at the end of kindergarten, and training may accelerate this trajectory. The development of lexical ambiguity detection is not apparent in kindergarteners. However, explicit training improves this trajectory significantly. The knowledge of both meanings of a homophone is not sufficient to report both meanings of a sentence that contains that homophone. We propose that detecting the dual meanings of an ambiguous sentence involves sentence processing operations and an ability to think flexibly about language that may be enhanced with training.
Cambridge University Press. 100 Brook Hill Drive, West Nyack, NY 10994-2133. Tel: 800-872-7423; Tel: 845-353-7500; Fax: 845-353-4141; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Kindergarten; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A