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Words Onscreen

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Communication Accommodation Theory

Edited by Howard Giles

Most people modify their ways of speaking, writing, texting, and e-mailing, and so on, according to the people with whom they are communicating. This fascinating book asks why we 'accommodate' to others in this way, and explores the various social consequences arising from it.


Academic Paper


Title: The Receptive–Expressive Gap in the Vocabulary of Young Second-Language Learners: Robustness and Possible Mechanisms
Author: Todd A. Gibson
Institution: University of Memphis
Author: D. Kimbrough Oller
Institution: University of Memphis
Author: Linda Jarmulowicz
Institution: University of Memphis
Author: Corinna A. Ethington
Institution: University of Memphis
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition
Subject Language: English
Spanish
Abstract: Adults and children learning a second language show difficulty accessing expressive vocabulary that appears accessible receptively (L1). We call this discrepancy the receptive–expressive gap. Kindergarten Spanish (L1) – English (L2) sequential bilinguals were given standardized tests of receptive and expressive vocabulary in both Spanish and English. We found a small receptive–expressive gap in English but a large receptive–expressive gap in Spanish. We categorized children as having had high or low levels of English exposure based on demographic variables and found that the receptive–expressive gap persisted across both levels of English exposure. Regression analyses revealed that variables predicting both receptive and expressive vocabulary scores failed to predict the receptive–expressive gap. The results suggest that the onset of the receptive–expressive gap in L1 may have been abrupt. We discuss possible mechanisms underlying the phenomenon.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 15, Issue 1.

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