ERIC Number: EJ859225
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Do French-English Bilingual Children Gesture More than Monolingual Children?
Nicoladis, Elena; Pika, Simone; Marentette, Paula
Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, v38 n6 p573-585 Dec 2009
Previous studies have shown that bilingual adults use more gestures than English monolinguals. Because no study has compared the gestures of bilinguals and monolinguals in both languages, the high gesture rate could be due to transfer from a high gesture language or could result from the use of gesture to aid in linguistic access. In this study we tried to distinguish between those causes by comparing the gesture rate of 10 French-English bilingual preschoolers with both 10 French and 10 English monolinguals. All were between 4 and 6 years of age. The children were asked to watch a cartoon and tell the story back. The results showed the bilingual children gestured more than either group of monolinguals and at the same rate in both French and English. These results suggest that that the bilinguals were not gesturing because they were transferring the high gesture rate from one language to another. We argue that bilinguals might gesture more than monolinguals to help formulate their spoken message.
Descriptors: Cartoons, Monolingualism, French, Bilingualism, English, Nonverbal Communication, Young Children, Oral Language, Transfer of Training, Visual Stimuli, Psycholinguistics
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
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