Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Producing bilinguals through immersion education: Development of metalinguistic awareness

  • ELLEN BIALYSTOK (a1), KATHLEEN F. PEETS (a2) and SYLVAIN MORENO (a3)
Abstract
ABSTRACT

This study examined metalinguistic awareness in children who were becoming bilingual in an immersion education program. The purpose was to determine at what point in emerging bilingualism the previously reported metalinguistic advantages appear and what types of metalinguistic tasks reveal these developmental differences. Participants were 124 children in second and fifth grades who were enrolled in either a French immersion or a regular English program. All children were from monolingual English-speaking homes and attended local public schools in middle socioeconomic neighborhoods. Measures included morphological awareness, syntactic awareness, and verbal fluency, with all testing in English. These tasks differed in their need for executive control, a cognitive ability that is enhanced in bilingual children. Overall, the metalinguistic advantages reported in earlier research emerged gradually, with advantages for tasks requiring more executive control (grammaticality judgment) appearing later and some tasks improving but not exceeding performance of monolinguals (verbal fluency) even by fifth grade. These findings demonstrate the gradual emergence of changes in metalinguistic concepts associated with bilingualism over a period of about 5 years. Performance on English-language proficiency tasks was maintained by French immersion children throughout in spite of schooling being conducted in French.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Ellen Bialystok, Department of Psychology, York University, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, ON M3J 1P3, Canada. E-mail: ellenb@yorku.ca
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

E. Bialystok (1986). Factors in the growth of linguistic awareness. Child Development, 57, 498510.

E. Bialystok (1988). Levels of bilingualism and levels of linguistic awareness. Developmental Psychology, 24, 560567.

E. Bialystok , F. I. M. Craik , & G. Luk (2008). Lexical access in bilinguals: Effects of vocabulary size and executive control. Journal of Neurolinguistics, 21, 522538.

E. Bialystok , S. Majumder , & M. Martin (2003). Developing phonological awareness: Is there a bilingual advantage? Applied Psycholinguistics, 24, 2744.

S. M. Carlson , & A. N. Meltzoff , (2008) Bilingual experience and executive functioning in young children. Developmental Science, 11, 282298.

J. Cromdal (1999). Childhood bilingualism and metalinguistic skills: Analysis and control in young Swedish–English bilinguals. Applied Psycholinguistics, 20, 120.

J. Cummins (1978). Bilingualism and the development of metalinguistic awareness. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 9, 131149.

F. Genesee (1984). Beyond bilingualism: Social psychological studies of French immersion programs in Canada. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 16, 338352.

T. H. Gollan , R. I. Montoya , & G. A. Werner (2002). Semantic and letter fluency in Spanish–English bilinguals. Neuropsychology, 16, 562576.

W. E. Lambert , F. Genesee , N. Holobow , & L. Chartrand (1993). Bilingual education for majority English-speaking children. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 8, 322.

S. Moreno , E. Bialystok , Z. Wodniecka , & C. Alain (2010). Conflict resolution in sentence processing by bilinguals. Journal of Neurolinguistics, 23, 564579.

J. S. Portocarrero , R. G. Burright , & P. J. Donovick (2007). Vocabulary and verbal fluency of bilingual and monolingual college students. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 22, 415422.

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: 16
Total number of PDF views: 241 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 539 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 25th June 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.