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Academic Paper


Title: English vocabulary development in bilingual kindergarteners: What are the best predictors?
Author: Yuuko Uchikoshi
Institution: Harvard University
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: English
Spanish
Abstract: This study examines growth rates in vocabulary over an academic year for 150 Latino English language learners. In October, February, and June of kindergarten, participants completed standardized measures of receptive and expressive vocabulary. Before the second and third assessments, a third of the children watched Arthur three times a week during school hours, while another third viewed Between the Lions. The last third did not view either show during school hours. Data on children's preschool experiences and home literacy activities were collected. Growth modeling analyses show while there were no effects of classroom viewing, children who viewed Arthur and Between the Lions at home had steeper growth trajectories than those who had not. Additional effects of native language home use and preschool attendance were seen. Boys displayed better English vocabulary skills than girls. These findings suggest the importance of English exposure and native language maintenance for English L2 vocabulary development.

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This article appears IN Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 9, Issue 1, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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