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ERIC Number: EJ1039048
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Apr
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0922-4777
The Impact of the "First Language First" Model on Vocabulary Development among Preschool Bilingual Children
Schwartz, Mila
Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, v27 n4 p709-732 Apr 2014
The aim of this exploratory study was to examine the role of the "First Language First" model for preschool bilingual education in the development of vocabulary depth. The languages studied were Russian (L1) and Hebrew (L2) among bilingual children aged 4-5 years in Israel. According to this model, the children's first language of educational instruction (up to age three) is the language to which they are exposed at home. Their second language--the dominant language of the country that is spoken by the majority of the population--is acquired sequentially, after relative maturity in the first language. Fifty-one Russian/Hebrew-speaking bilinguals (around age four) were selected from bilingual (Russian/Hebrew) preschools, which used the "First Language First" approach, and monolingual (Hebrew) preschools. The research was designed as a longitudinal study, as the children's vocabulary was measured at two time-points--near the beginning and the end of the academic year. The children's vocabulary was measured in both languages by examining its depth dimensions (paradigmatic semantic relations and syntagmatic semantic relations). The results demonstrated that the later immersion in L2 and continuing development of L1 within the "First Language First" model does not results in "retardation" in development of bilingual children in L2 in comparison to their bilingual peers from the monolingual (Hebrew) preschools. In addition, this model of early bilingual development enhances the linguistic interdependence of depth of vocabulary knowledge, and, therefore, supports balanced bilingual development.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Israel