Research Mentor(s): Ioulia Kovelman, Associate Professor
Research Mentor School/College/Department: Psychology, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 3 (1pm-1:50pm)
Breakout Room: Room 9
The current study examines the impacts Chinese bilingualism has on children’s English literacy development. Chinese-English bilingual and English monolingual children ages 5-13 were assessed with standardized language tasks aimed at reading comprehension and syntactic abilities in both English and Chinese. A total of 27 Chinese-English bilingual children and 27 English monolingual children participated in our study. The Chinese-English bilingual children were administered in both English and Chinese while the English monolingual children were administered in English. Families of Chinese-English bilingual children received a $30 gift card and English monolingual children received a $15 gift card; a parent report was sent to each family regarding their children’s performance on the tasks. We hypothesized that Chinese-English bilingual children would perform better on morphological awareness tasks than English monolingual children. The findings of our research might inform theories of bilingualism and literacy instruction practices on linguistically diverse children. There was a stronger correlation between morphological awareness and reading comprehension, proving that cross-language transfer impacts children in literacy development. Chinese-English bilingual children didn’t demonstrate any deficits compared to monolinguals when learning two languages.