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The Acquisition of Heritage Languages

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Academic Paper


Title: Receptive vocabulary differences in monolingual and bilingual children
Author: Ellen Bialystok
Institution: York University
Author: Gigi Luk
Institution: Harvard Graduate School of Education
Author: Kathleen F. Peets
Institution: York University
Author: Sujin Yang
Institution: York University
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Psycholinguistics
Abstract: Studies often report that bilingual participants possess a smaller vocabulary in the language of testing than monolinguals, especially in research with children. However, each study is based on a small sample so it is difficult to determine whether the vocabulary difference is due to sampling error. We report the results of an analysis of 1,738 children between 3 and 10 years old and demonstrate a consistent difference in receptive vocabulary between the two groups. Two preliminary analyses suggest that this difference does not change with different language pairs and is largely confined to words relevant to a home context rather than a school context.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 13, Issue 4, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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