Learning foreign labels from a foreign speaker: The role of (limited) exposure to a second language

Jennifer Menjivar, Nameera Akhtar, Elena Hoicka, Mark Sabbagh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

Abstract

Three- and four-year-olds (N = 144) were introduced to novel labels by an English speaker and a foreign speaker (of Nordish, a made-up language), and were asked to endorse one of the speaker's labels. Monolingual English-speaking children were compared to bilingual children and English-speaking children who were regularly exposed to a language other than English. All children tended to endorse the English speaker's labels when asked ‘What do you call this?’, but when asked ‘What do you call this in Nordish?’, children with exposure to a second language were more likely to endorse the foreign label than monolingual and bilingual children. The findings suggest that, at this age, exposure to, but not necessarily immersion in, more than one language may promote the ability to learn foreign words from a foreign speaker.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1135-1149
JournalJournal of Child Language
Volume39
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Structured keywords

  • SoE Centre for Psychological Approaches for Studying Education

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