ERIC Number: EJ1167933
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Learning Words and Definitions in Two Languages: What Promotes Cross-Language Transfer?
Pham, Giang; Donovan, Danaee; Dam, Quynh; Contant, Amy
Language Learning, v68 n1 p206-233 Mar 2018
This study used a brief vocabulary training paradigm to examine two factors for cross-language transfer: how similar the first language (L1) is to the second language (L2) and L1-L2 proficiency levels. Fifty-four sequential bilingual children (aged 6-8) with similar L2 English proficiency levels were assigned to three equal groups: a Vietnamese-English group with low L1 proficiency, a Spanish-English group with low L1 proficiency, and a Spanish-English group with high L1 proficiency. Individual training consisted of two mediated learning experiences conducted in the L1 targeting eight vocabulary items using narrative-based activities. Four of eight target words were cognates between Spanish and English. Pre- and posttesting measured definition quality in the L1 and L2. All groups showed improvement in the L1 following training, but only the Spanish-English group with high L1 proficiency improved in L2 English, revealing a degree of spontaneous cross-language transfer among children with high L1-L2 proficiency.
Descriptors: Second Language Learning, Native Language, Language Proficiency, Spanish, Bilingualism, English (Second Language), Transfer of Training, Vietnamese, Vocabulary Development, Narration, Learning Experience, Pretests Posttests, Comparative Analysis, Second Language Instruction, Teaching Methods, Definitions, Elementary School Students
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
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