Skip to main content
×
×
Home

The influence of learning a second language in primary school on developing first language literacy skills

  • VICTORIA A. MURPHY (a1), ERNESTO MACARO (a1), SONIA ALBA (a1) and CLAUDIA CIPOLLA (a1)
Abstract

This study investigated whether learning a second language (L2) has a facilitative effect on first language (L1) literacy and whether there is an advantage to learning an L2 with transparent grapheme–phoneme correspondences. One hundred fifty Year 3 children were randomly assigned into one of three groups: L2 Italian, L2 French, and control. Children were pretested on measures of English (L1) spelling, reading and phonological processing. The L2 groups then received 15 weeks of L2 instruction in Italian or French, respectively. The L2 groups outperformed the control group on posttest measures of English reading accuracy and different aspects of phonological processing. In addition, there was an advantage for the L2 Italian group as their scores were higher than the L2 French group on English reading accuracy and phonological processing.

Copyright
Corresponding author
ADDRESS FOR CORRESPONDENCE Victoria A. Murphy, Department of Education, University of Oxford, 15 Norham Gardens, Oxford OX2 6PY, United Kingdom. E-mail: victoria.murphy@education.ox.ac.uk
References
Hide All
Bialystok, E. (2001). Bilingualism in development. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Bialystok, E. (2002). Acquisition of literacy in bilingual children: A framework for research. Language Learning, 52, 159199.
Bialystok, E., Luk, G., & Kwan, E. (2005). Bilingualism, biliteracy, and learning to read: Interactions among languages and writing systems. Scientific Studies of Reading, 9, 4361.
Bialystok, E., Majumder, S., & Martin, M. M. (2003). Developing phonological awareness: Is there a bilingual advantage? Applied Psycholinguistics, 24, 2744.
Borgwaldt, S. R., Hellwig, F. M. & De Groot, A. M. B. (2005). Onset entropy matters: Letter-to-phoneme mappings in seven languages. Reading and Writing, 18, 211229.
Cameron, L. (2001). Teaching languages to young learners. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Campbell, R., & Sais, E. (1995). Accelerated metalinguistic (phonological) awareness in bilingual children. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 13, 6168.
Carlisle, J. F. (1995). Morphological awareness and early reading achievement. In Feldman, L. B. (Ed.), Morphological aspects of language processing. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Chiappe, P. & Siegel, L. S. (1999). Phonological awareness and reading acquisition in English- and Punjabi-speaking Canadian children. Journal of Educational Psychology, 91, 2028.
Cook, V. (1991). The poverty-of-the-stimulus argument and multi-competence. Second Language Research, 7, 103117.
Cook, V. (Ed.). (2003a). Effects of the second language on the first. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Cook, V. (2003b). Introduction: The changing L1 in the L2 user's mind. In Cook, V. (Ed.), Effects of the second language on the first. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Cossu, G., Gugliotta, M., & Marshall, J. C. (1995). Acquisition of reading and written spelling in a transparent orthography: Two non-parallel processes. Reading and Writing, 7, 922.
Cossu, G., Shankweiler, D., Liberman, I. Y., Katz, L., & Tola, G. (1988). Awareness of phonological segments and reading ability in Italian children. Applied Psycholinguistics, 9, 177195.
D'Angiulli, A., Siegel, L. S., & Serra, E. (2001). The development of reading in English and Italian bilingual children. Applied Psycholinguistics, 22, 479507.
Deacon, S. H., & Bryant, P. (2006). This turnip's not for turning: Children's morphological awareness and their use of root morphemes in spelling. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 24, 567575.
Deacon, S. H., & Kirby, J. R. (2004). Morphological awareness: Just “more phonological”? The roles of morphological and phonological awareness in reading development. Applied Psycholinguistics, 25, 223238.
Department for Education. (2013). Consultation report: Foreign languages at Key Stage 2. London: Crown Publishing.
Elley, W. B. (Ed.). (1994). The IEA study of reading literacy: Achievement and instruction in thirty-two school systems. Oxford: Pergamon Press.
Enever, J. (Ed.). (2011). ELLiE: Early language learning in Europe. London: British Council.
Frederickson, N., Frith, U., & Reason, R. (1997). Phonological Assessment Battery: Standardisation edition. Windsor: NFER-Nelson.
Geva, E., & Siegel, L. S. (2000). Orthographic and cognitive factors in the concurrent development of basic reading skills in two languages. Reading and Writing, 12, 130.
Graesser, A. C., Singer, M., & Trabasso, T. (1994). Constructing inferences during narrative text comprehension. Psychological Review, 101, 371395.
Hanley, J. R., Masterson, J., & Spencer, L. H. (2004). How long do the advantages of learning to read a transparent orthography last? An investigation of the reading skills and reading impairment of Welsh children at 10 years. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology Section A: Human Experimental Psychology, 57, 13931410.
Hawkins, E. W. (1974). Modern languages in the curriculum. In Perren, G. (Ed.), The space between: English and foreign languages at school. London: CILT.
Hawkins, E. W. (1999). Foreign language study and language awareness. Language Awareness, 3, 124141.
Jarvis, S. (2003). Probing the effects of the L2 on the L1: A case study. In Cook, V. (Ed)., Effects of the second language on the first. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Lado, R. (1957). Linguistics across cultures: Applied linguistics for language teachers. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.
Landerl, K., Wimmer, H., & Frith, U. (1997). The impact of orthographic consistency on dyslexia: A German–English comparison. Cognition, 63, 315334.
Laufer, B. (2003). The influence of L2 on L1 collocational knowledge and on L1 lexical diversity in free written expression. In Cook, V. (Ed.), Effects of the second language on the first. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Loizou, M., & Stuart, M. (2003). Phonological awareness in monolingual and bilingual English and Greek five-year-olds. Journal of Research in Reading, 26, 318.
Macaro, E., & Erler, L. (2008). Raising the achievement of young-beginner readers of French through strategy instruction. Applied Linguistics, 29, 90119.
Macaro, E., & Mutton, T. (2009) Developing reading achievement in primary learners of French: Inferencing strategies versus exposure to “graded readers.” Language Learning Journal, 37, 165182.
Muñoz, C. (Ed.). (2006). Age and the rate of foreign language learning. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Muñoz, C., & Singleton, D. (2011). A critical review of age-related research in L2 ultimate attainment. Language Teaching, 44, 135.
Murphy, V. A., & Pine, K. J. (2003). L2 influence on L1 linguistic representations. In Cook, V. (Ed.), Effects of the second language on the first. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Neale, M. D. (1997). Neale Analysis of Reading Ability—Revised. Windsor: NFER-Nelson.
Nikolov, M. (Ed). (2009). Early learning of modern foreign languages: Processes and outcomes. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Philp, J., Oliver, R., & Mackey, A. (Eds). (2008). Second language acquisition and the younger learner: Child's play? Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Pinter, A. (2011). Children learning second languages. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Qiang, W. (2002). Primary school English teaching in China: New developments. English Language Teacher Education and Development, 7, 99108.
Raven, J. C. (1998). Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices. San Antonio, TX: Psychological Corp.
Ricketts, J., Cocksey, J., & Nation, K. (2011). Understanding children's reading comprehension difficulties. In Ellis, S. & McCartney, E. (Eds.), Applied linguistics and primary school teaching (pp 154164). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Sacre, L., & Masterson, J. (2000) Single Word Spelling Test (SWST). Windsor: NFER-Nelson.
Seymour, P. H. K., Aro, M., & Erskine, J. M. (2003). Foundation literacy acquisition in European orthographies. British Journal of Psychology, 94, 143174.
Spencer, L. H., & Hanley, J. R. (2003). The effects of orthographic consistency on reading development and phonological awareness: Evidence from children learning to read in Wales. British Journal of Psychology, 94, 128.
Spooner, A. L. R., Baddeley, A. D., & Gathercole, S. E. (2004). Can reading accuracy and comprehension be separated in the Neale analysis of reading ability? British Journal of Educational Psychology, 74, 187204.
Yelland, G. W., Pollard, J., & Mercuri, A. (1993). The metalinguistic benefits of limited contact with a second language. Applied Psycholinguistics, 14, 423444.
Ziegler, J. C., Bertrand, D., Tóth, D., Csépe, V., Reis, A., Faísca, L., et al. (2010). Orthographic depth and its impact on universal predictors of reading: A cross-language investigation. Psychological Science, 21, 551559.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Applied Psycholinguistics
  • ISSN: 0142-7164
  • EISSN: 1469-1817
  • URL: /core/journals/applied-psycholinguistics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 50
Total number of PDF views: 550 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 2261 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 19th August 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.