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ERIC Number: EJ844981
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 14
ISSN: ISSN-1550-7076
Heritage Learners in the Chinese Language Classroom: Home Background
Xiao, Yun
Heritage Language Journal, v4 n1 p47-56 Fall 2006
Studies from information-processing and language comprehension research have reported that background knowledge facilitates reading and writing. By comparing Chinese language development of heritage students who had home background in Chinese language and culture with those who did not, this study found that heritage learners did significantly better than their non-heritage counterparts in speaking, listening, grammar, and sentence constructions, but not in reading comprehension, vocabulary learning, and Chinese character writing. These results suggest that heritage learners' oral exposure to their home language does not necessarily lead them to acquire reading and writing skills more quickly than non-heritage learners. Home background knowledge of Chinese, a language with notoriously difficult orthography, may not support reading comprehension or vocabulary learning if that knowledge does not include sufficient exposure to the script system. (Contains 1 table, 2 figures and 1 note.)
National Heritage Language Resource Center and UC Consortium for Language Learning & Teaching. 1333 Rolfe Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1411. Tel: 310-825-1138; Fax: 310-206-5183; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A