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ERIC Number: EJ1111942
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1367-0050
"Why Do We Know Hebrew and They Do Not Know Arabic?" Children's Meta-Linguistic Talk in Bilingual Preschool
Schwartz, Mila; Gorbatt, Naomi
International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, v19 n6 p668-688 2016
Language-focused listening to young children's talk provides insight into their internal thinking mechanisms regarding language as they engage in language learning. The aim of this exploratory longitudinal study was to examine and analyze children's meta-linguistic talk and its main characteristics in a bilingual Arabic-Hebrew-speaking preschool. This talk takes the form either of short comments or of fully fledged discursive events. The target preschool is located in central Israel, and is attended by 29 children: 19 L1 Arabic-speaking children and 10 L1 Hebrew-speaking children. Data were collected during one year and included video-recordings of the children's conversations. The following content categories were extracted from the children's meta-linguistic talk: (1) focus on language form; (2) discourse management: children as language policymakers--who speaks which language to whom and when, critical evaluation of L2 competence, and positive notions of bilingualism; and (3) difficulty in understanding the talk. We found that through active discourse management within intergroup contexts, children tried to build their social world and enhance their ethnic identities. This type of meta-linguistic talk addressed such macro-level issues as minority-majority language status and asymmetry in L2 input.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Preschool Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Israel
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A