The effects of cognates on receptive and expressive language among typically developing preschool second language-learners

Jesica B Zavala de Guerrero, University of Texas at El Paso

Abstract

This exploratory study considers the facilitating effects of cognates across language of intervention, seeking to assess potential cross-language generalizations among typically developing preschool bilinguals. Nine bilingual, English-Spanish speakers of preschool age were assigned to one of three experimental groups (an English only group, a Spanish only group, and a bilingual group) or to a control condition. Children in the experimental groups were introduced to a vocabulary intervention that incorporated cognates and non-cognates. Analysis of data suggests the absence of a cognate advantage among preschool age children; furthermore limiting any possible cross-language generalizations. It is plausible to suspect that age may be a contributing factor to cognate facilitating effects. Other aspects related to cognition, existent metalinguistic skills, present development of phonological skills, and even degree of literacy instruction could also impact the effectiveness of these types of interventions. There is a need to assess potential relationships among contributing factors impacting vocabulary development within groups of young bilingual speakers. It is also indispensable to develop effective methods of intervention in supporting the lexical growth of young second language learners.^

Subject Area

Language, Linguistics|Health Sciences, Speech Pathology|Education, Early Childhood|Latin American Studies

Recommended Citation

Zavala de Guerrero, Jesica B, "The effects of cognates on receptive and expressive language among typically developing preschool second language-learners" (2014). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1558078.
http://digitalcommons.utep.edu/dissertations/AAI1558078

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