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Academic Paper


Title: Language skills in shy and non-shy preschoolers and the effects of assessment context
Author: Katherine A Spere
Institution: University of Guelph
Author: Mary Ann Evans
Institution: University of Guelph
Author: Carol-Anne Hendry
Institution: University of Guelph
Author: Jubilea Mansell
Institution: University of Guelph
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics
Abstract: Nineteen shy, twenty-three middle and twenty-five non-shy junior kindergarten children were assessed at school by an unfamiliar examiner, and at home where their parents administered a parallel form of the expressive and receptive vocabulary tests given at school. A speech sample between the child and parent was also collected at home. Shy children spoke less than non-shy and middle children at home. Additionally, the parents of shy children spoke less than parents of non-shy children. Although there were no language differences between the groups, results showed a context effect for expressive vocabulary, in that all groups of children scored higher at school. The pattern of results suggests that previously observed language differences found between shy and non-shy children are not robust, and that testing children at school does not negatively impact their performance.

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This article appears IN Journal of Child Language Vol. 36, Issue 1, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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