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ERIC Number: EJ763230
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 21
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1367-0050
The Influence of Dominance and Sociolinguistic Context on Bilingual Preschoolers' Language Choice
Paradis, Johanne; Nicoladis, Elena
International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, v10 n3 p277-297 2007
Two-year-old bilingual children can show sensitivity to the language choice of their interlocutor, but do not necessarily achieve perfect separation by discourse context, e.g. speaking only French with a French interlocutor; dominance in one language is often cited as a reason for this. In this study we asked whether older bilingual preschoolers would show more absolute discourse separation than had been established with younger children because their more advanced linguistic development may diminish the constraining role of dominance in language choice. These children resided in an English majority-French minority region of Canada where virtually all francophone adults are bilingual, but not necessarily anglophone adults. Therefore, we also considered the potential interacting effects of the minority French context on children's dominance and language choice. Four French-dominant and four English-dominant bilingual children participated in two free-play situations, in French and in English. The French-dominant children showed discourse separation of the two languages in both English and French contexts, while most of the English-dominant children spoke a lot of English in the French context. These results suggest that discourse separation of two languages by bilingual preschool children is possible, but not always practised due to the interaction of language dominance and children's sensitivity to the sociolinguistic context.
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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: Canada