Acquisition of English grammatical morphology by internationally adopted children from China

JCL Cover

Blog post written by Lara Pierce based on an article published in Journal of Child Language

Internationally adopted (IA) children face a unique language learning situation in that they are exposed to one language from birth, but this language is discontinued at the point of adoption in favour of the language spoken by their adoptive family. IA children share similarities in their language environment with monolingual first language (L1) learners in that they receive the majority of their input in only one language. They functionally lose any abilities they had in their birth language quickly (within the first year or less) and typically become monolingual speakers of their adoptive language. However, their language experience also shares similarities with child second . . . → Read More: Acquisition of English grammatical morphology by internationally adopted children from China

Language-specific noun bias: evidence from bilingual children

Mother and Toddler

Post written by Dr. Lei Xuan and Dr. Christine Dollaghan based on an article in Journal of Child Language

Our research addressed questions about the kinds of words that appear in the early vocabularies of bilingual children. Evidence from some languages, including English, has shown that young children acquire words for people and things before words that label actions and attributes or words that have grammatical functions. However, the hypothesis of a universal preference for nouns (i.e., a “noun bias”) in early lexical development has been challenged by studies suggesting that children acquiring languages such as Korean and Mandarin Chinese may show a weaker preference for nouns.

We used a unique research design to examine the extent of noun bias . . . → Read More: Language-specific noun bias: evidence from bilingual children

Applied linguistics and children with speech, language and communication needs: issues of teacher knowledge

Written by Elspeth McCartney and Sue Ellis

The text Sue Ellis and Elspeth McCartney (eds), 2011, Applied Linguistics and Primary School Teaching, Cambridge: CUP arose from a British Association of Applied Linguistics/Cambridge University Press multi-disciplinary seminar series including teachers, teacher-educators, speech and language pathologists/therapists, policy-makers and psychologists, with an added international perspective. The book considers how primary/elementary teachers’ linguistic knowledge might be framed, and examines what linguistic knowledge is most useful, how it is best introduced, and how it needs to be understood in the context of the complex and diverse modern school classroom. Two important issues arise in this context – linguistic diversity (see for example Hammond (Chapter Two), Horan and Hersi (Chapter Three), Tierney (Chapter Five) and . . . → Read More: Applied linguistics and children with speech, language and communication needs: issues of teacher knowledge

Language and the African American Child

“How does the language of developing African American English (AAE)-speaking children differ from that of their peers who are learning standard American English and other varieties of English? How does it differ from that of AAE-speaking adults in the same speech communities? Research on some topics in the study of the use AAE by adolescents and adults is well established; however, research on development and use of AAE by pre-school age children is limited. Language and the African American Child gives a linguistic description of patterns in the speech of developing AAE-speaking children who are growing up in small communities in the southern United States. As one of the few linguistic descriptions of child AAE, the book contributes to our . . . → Read More: Language and the African American Child