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ERIC Number: EJ1120682
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Dec
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0142-7237
Do Chinese- and English-Speaking Preschoolers Think Differently about Language?
Guan, Yao; Farrar, M. Jeffrey
First Language, v36 n6 p617-636 Dec 2016
Metalinguistic awareness is the ability to identify, reflect upon, and manipulate linguistic units. It plays a critical role in reading development. The present study investigated Chinese- and English-speaking preschoolers' metalinguistic awareness development and the role of cognitive and linguistic abilities in its development. Forty-two Chinese-speaking and 36 English-speaking monolingual children completed a series of metalinguistic awareness, false belief, inhibitory control, and receptive vocabulary tasks. The results revealed distinct pathways for the two language groups. English speakers had a more advanced level of rhyme awareness. Chinese speakers developed homonym understanding faster during the preschool years. Inhibitory control was more important for Chinese speakers to develop synonym and homonym understanding, whereas receptive vocabulary was crucial for English speakers to develop rhyme awareness. These differences may be attributable to the characteristics of the Chinese and English languages, as well as the patterns of cognitive development in the two populations.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A