Now showing 1 - 10 of 33
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    Investigating Chinese syntactic knowledge of bilingual Singaporean P1 students
    (Office of Education Research, National Institute of Education, Singapore, 2020) ; ;
    Yin, Bin
    ;
    Toh, Weimin
    ;
    von Hagen, Alexa
    Syntax is a core component of linguistic knowledge, and a key diagnostic index for difficulty in language development. For bilingual children, the language systems that they learn may be more or less contrastive in their syntactic features. The languages learned by the bilingual children in the current study, English and Chinese, differ in several important syntactic properties (e.g., marking of mass-count distinction and tense/aspect features). Therefore, their development in terms of grammatical knowledge may differ from that reported for monolinguals.
    In this exploratory study, we focus on linguistic features that are relevant to the age group of the participants, and that are also important for their literacy development and academic performance. Thus, of interest is the general level of syntactic complexity of children's Chinese, their grasp of specific morphosyntactic features, and how their background variables (e.g., relative language dominance) might affect their syntactic knowledge. To address the research questions, this study focuses on data collected through an expressive language task for Mandarin Chinese at the entry of primary school.
      101  16
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    Syntactic resonance in child-caretaker interaction and children’s peer talk
    (Office of Education Research, National Institute of Education, Singapore, 2024) ;
    Green, Clarence

    Language acquisition takes place as children are engaged in social interaction (Kuhl, 2004; Langacker, 2009) and through different perspectives including Language Socialization (Watson-Gegeo & Nielsen, 2003), longitudinal Conversation Analysis (Hauser, 2013), and Usage-Based Linguistics (Ellis et al, 2015; Clark, 2015). Although each draws on slightly different disciplinary backgrounds (language socialization (Anthropology), longitudinal Conversation Analysis (Applied Linguistics), and Usage-Based Linguistics (Linguistics and Psychology)), they share one thrust that language learning takes place in social interaction as the learners participate in culturally constituted joint activities.

    Examination of children’s interaction data is argued to reveal that among other things, a remarkable degree of resonance across the child utterance and parent utterance. Relating the degree of syntactic resonance in each child’s interaction and their language proficiency would make not only a theoretically intriguing question, but also have potentially useful pedagogical implications, such in potential guidance as to how to use language to facilitate language learning, e.g., types of repetition. Indeed, previous research reports that children with autism demonstrate atypicalities in sequences identified as dialogic resonance in their interaction with adults (Hobson, Hobson, Garcia-Pérez, & Du Bois, 2012). This emerging research suggests that resonance/syntactic repetition may be a previously overlooked index of a child’s language development.

    One component of resonance is claimed to be abstract structural priming. This is a type of discourse alignment prominent in experimental psychology. It is the repetition of an interlocutor’s syntax. Demonstrations of structural priming in the laboratory have led to claims of its importance to natural language learning, and some have interpreted it as evidence for formal linguistic theories of autonomous syntax. In this project, we aim to explore what was the extent of abstract structural priming in child language interactions with adults (represented by corpora collected by the researchers and drawn from CHILDES).

      7  50
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Animated electronic storybook and children's Mother Tongue development: Tracing the process and the outcome with eye-tracking
    (Office of Education Research, National Institute of Education, Singapore, 2020)
    Storybook reading to children is considered an efficient way to provide a meaningful context for exposure to unfamiliar words and grammar (Weizman & Snow, 2001). Nonetheless, children with limited language knowledge (e.g., child MTL learners in Singapore) may benefit less from the reading activities, due to the gap between their skills and those required for processing the narration. They often fail to derive the meaning of unknown words/grammar from the verbal context and consequently have trouble figuring out the story plots (Verhallen & Bus, 2010). Children’s electronic storybook (e-storybook) seems to hold great promise to assist in developing children’s emerging literacy as such reading formats are favored by children due to its entertaining elements (e.g., sound and interactive games) (Hio, 2015).
    Compared to traditional print books, well-designed animated e-storybooks can stimulate readers' visual, auditory and even kinaesthetic senses to comprehend a story and unfamiliar language via the match between nonverbal sources (motion pictures, images, sound and music) and the narration (de Jong & Bus, 2002; 2004; Neuman, 1997; Verhallen, Bus, & de Jong, 2006). It is especially promising for second language learners/bilingual child learners, because these children with less language knowledge at hand may need extra information sources to digest the story plots and grasp the new words and grammar.
      296  174
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Syntactic resonance in child-caretaker interaction and children’s peer talk.
    (National Institute of Education (Singapore), 2020) ;
    Green, Clarence
      280  83
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Animated electronic storybook and Mandarin learning.
    (National Institute of Education (Singapore), 2019)
      112  92
  • Publication
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    Quality of preschool teacher's language practices in Singapore: Develop a reliable coding scheme for instructional strategies and linguistic features used in shared book reading
    (Office of Education Research, National Institute of Education, Singapore, 2020) ; ;
    Steinkrauss, Rasmus
    ;
    Cox, Ralf
    ;
    Van Der Steen, Steffie
    Prior research demonstrated that teachers' language practice in shared book reading (SBR) plays an important role in preschoolers' early language and literacy development (Gerde & Powell, 2009). Many of the existing studies adopted general measures to gauge entire SBR sessions and could not sufficiently capture distinctions between teachers in a nuanced manner, and therefore were unable to highlight the effective teaching components in a detailed and comprehensive way. The current study focused on the types of effective teaching components in SBR and looked into the micro-structure of teachers' language practice during SBR.
      133  18
  • Publication
    Metadata only
    Harmonious bilingual development: The concept, the significance, and the implications
    (Springer, 2022)
    Harmonious Bilingual Development refers to “the experience of well-being in a language contact situation involving young children and their families” (De Houwer, The International Journal of Bilingualism 19(2): 169, 2015). This notion has attracted increasing attention in recent years, but the application of this concept within the Singaporean context remains unknown. The current chapter begins by introducing Harmonious Bilingual Development and stresses the significance of language and literacy exposure within the home and school settings alongside evidence of how this promotes local children’s dual language acquisition and social-emotional development. Children’s mother tongue language learning is crucial for their Harmonious Bilingual Development in Singapore and may influence kindergarteners’ social-emotional and behavioral skills. Cost-effective teaching methods such as codeswitching and shared book reading are discussed in detail at the end of the chapter given their potential contribution to Singaporean children’s Harmonious Bilingual Development. It is suggested that these approaches be implemented with the child bilinguals’ characteristics in mind.
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  • Publication
    Open Access
    Language experience and bilingual children's heritage language learning
    (2022) ; ;
    Roodra Veera
    Both language input and output are important to child language learners’ heritage language development. Nevertheless, existing studies mainly focus on language input, leaving the significance of language output underexplored. The current study assessed 201 kindergarteners’ Mandarin skills (i.e., receptive vocabulary, receptive grammar, and verbal fluency) in Singapore, and investigated the influence of children’s Mandarin experience, and specifically output, on these Mandarin skills. The results based on multilevel models reveal that children’s Mandarin experience plays a crucial role in the three Mandarin skills, after controlling for children’s gender, language aptitude, and English proficiency. Specifically, children’s onset age of Mandarin speaking and the number of places where they used Mandarin alone significantly predict all the Mandarin skills.
    WOS© Citations 6  111  68