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ERIC Number: EJ1150395
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jul
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0161-1461
English Verb Accuracy of Bilingual Cantonese-English Preschoolers
Rezzonico, Stefano; Goldberg, Ahuva; Milburn, Trelani; Belletti, Adriana; Girolametto, Luigi
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, v48 n3 p153-167 Jul 2017
Purpose: Knowledge of verb development in typically developing bilingual preschoolers may inform clinicians about verb accuracy rates during the 1st 2 years of English instruction. This study aimed to investigate tensed verb accuracy in 2 assessment contexts in 4- and 5-year-old Cantonese-English bilingual preschoolers. Method: The sample included 47 Cantonese-English bilinguals enrolled in English preschools. Half of the children were in their 1st 4 months of English language exposure, and half had completed 1 year and 4 months of exposure to English. Data were obtained from the Test of Early Grammatical Impairment (Rice & Wexler, 2001) and from a narrative generated in English. Results: By the 2nd year of formal exposure to English, children in the present study approximated 33% accuracy of tensed verbs in a formal testing context versus 61% in a narrative context. The use of the English verb BE approximated mastery. Predictors of English third-person singular verb accuracy were task, grade, English expressive vocabulary, and lemma frequency. Conclusions: Verb tense accuracy was low across both groups, but a precocious mastery of BE was observed. The results of the present study suggest that speech-language pathologists may consider, in addition to an elicitation task, evaluating the use of verbs during narratives in bilingual Cantonese-English children.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. 2200 Research Blvd #250, Rockville, MD 20850. Tel: 301-296-5700; Fax: 301-296-8580; e-mail:; Web site:
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
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A