Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-78bd46657c-t6dlm Total loading time: 0.289 Render date: 2021-05-06T20:40:39.825Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": false, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true }

The receptive–expressive gap in the vocabulary of young second-language learners: Robustness and possible mechanisms*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 September 2011

TODD A. GIBSON
Affiliation:
School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, The University of Memphis
D. KIMBROUGH OLLER
Affiliation:
School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, The University of Memphis
LINDA JARMULOWICZ
Affiliation:
School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, The University of Memphis
CORINNA A. ETHINGTON
Affiliation:
Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Research, The University of Memphis
Corresponding

Abstract

Adults and children learning a second language show difficulty accessing expressive vocabulary that appears accessible receptively in their first language (L1). We call this discrepancy the receptive–expressive gap. Kindergarten Spanish (L1) – English (L2) sequential bilinguals were given standardized tests of receptive and expressive vocabulary in both Spanish and English. We found a small receptive–expressive gap in English but a large receptive–expressive gap in Spanish. We categorized children as having had high or low levels of English exposure based on demographic variables and found that the receptive–expressive gap persisted across both levels of English exposure. Regression analyses revealed that variables predicting both receptive and expressive vocabulary scores failed to predict the receptive–expressive gap. The results suggest that the onset of the receptive–expressive gap in L1 may have been abrupt. We discuss possible mechanisms underlying the phenomenon.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2011

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below.

Footnotes

*

This research was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health, National Institue of Child Health & Human Development (R01 HD046947 to D. Kimbrough Oller, Principal Investigator), and by the Plough Foundation to D. Kimbrough Oller. Thanks to the anonymous reviewers who gave us useful feedback on an earlier version.

References

Baumeister, R. F., & Leary, M. R. (1995). The need to belong – desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 117 (3), 497529.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Caesar, L. G., & Kohler, P. D. (2007). The state of school-based bilingual assessment: Actual practice versus recommended guidelines. Language Speech and Hearing Services in Schools, 38 (3), 190200.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Corsaro, W. A., & Eder, D. (1990). Children's peer cultures. Annual Review of Sociology, 16, 197220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Costa, A. (2005). Speech production in bilinguals. In Bhatia, T. & Ritchie, W. (eds.), The handbook of bilingualism, pp. 201223. Malden, MA & Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
Costa, A., & Santesteban, M. (2004). Lexical access in bilingual speech production: Evidence from language switching in highly proficient bilinguals and L2 learners. Journal of Memory and Language, 50 (4), 491511.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Costa, A., Santesteban, M., & Ivanova, I. (2006). How do highly proficient bilinguals control their lexicalization process? Inhibitory and language-specific selection mechanisms are both functional. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 32 (5), 10571074.Google ScholarPubMed
Dunn, L. M. (1959). Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT). Circle Pines, MN: AGS Publishing.Google Scholar
Dunn, L. M., & Dunn, L. M. (1981). Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test – Revised (PPVT–R). Circle Pines, MN: AGS Publishing.Google Scholar
Dunn, L. M., & Dunn, L. M. (1997). Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test – Third Edition (PPVT–III). Circle Pines, MN: AGS Publishing.Google Scholar
Dunn, L. M., Padilla, E., Lugo, D., & Dunn, L. M. (1986). Test de Vocabulario en Imagenes Peabody (TVIP). Circle Pines, MN: AGS Publishing.Google Scholar
Gertner, B. L., Rice, M. L., & Hadley, P. A. (1994). Influence of communicative competence on peer preferences in a preschool classroom. Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 37 (4), 913923.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gilbert, P. (2003). Evolution, social roles, and the differences in shame and guilt. Social Research, 70 (4), 12051230.Google Scholar
Green, D. W. (1998). Mental control of the bilingual lexico-semantic system. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 1 (2), 6781.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hakuta, K., & D'Andrea, D. (1992). Some properties of bilingual maintenance and loss in Mexican background high-school students. Applied Linguistics, 13 (1), 7299.Google Scholar
Hart, B., & Risley, T. R. (1995). Meaningful differences in the everyday experience of young American children. Baltimore, MD: Paul H Brookes.Google Scholar
Hermans, D., Bongaerts, T., De Bot, K., & Schreuder, R. (1998). Producing words in a foreign language: Can speakers prevent interference from their first language? Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 1 (3), 213229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hoff, E. (2006). How social contexts support and shape language development. Developmental Review, 26 (1), 5588.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hoff, E. (2009, April). Effects of dual language exposure on early lexical growth. Poster session presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Denver, CO.Google Scholar
Kan, P. F., & Kohnert, K. (2005). Preschoolers learning Hmong and English: Lexical-semantic skills in L1 and L2. Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research, 48 (2), 372383.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kohnert, K. (2004). Processing skills in early sequential bilinguals. In Goldstein, B. (ed.), Bilingual language development and disorders in Spanish–English speakers, pp.5376. Baltimore, MD: Paul H Brookes.Google Scholar
Kroll, J., & Stewart, E. (1994). Category interference in translation and picture naming: Evidence for asymmetric connections between bilingual memory representations. Journal of Memory and Language, 33 (2), 149174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lee, M., & Williams, J. N. (2001). Lexical access in spoken word production by bilinguals: Evidence from the semantic competitor priming paradigm. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 4 (3), 233248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Levelt, W. J. M. (1989). Speaking: From intention to articulation. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
Levelt, W. J. M., Roelofs, A., & Meyer, A. S. (1999). Multiple perspectives on word production. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 22 (1), 6175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lidz, C., & Peña, E. (1996). Dynamic assessment: The model, its relevance as a nonbiased approach, and its application to Latino American preschool children. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 27 (4), 367372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Linck, J., Kroll, J., & Sunderman, G. (2009). Losing access to the native language while immersed in a second language: Evidence for the role of inhibition in second-language learning. Psychological Science, 20 (12), 15071515.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Miccio, A., Tabors, P., Paez, M., Hammer, C., & Wagstaff, D. (2005). Vocabulary development in Spanish-speaking head start children of Puerto Rican descent. In Cohen, J., McAlister, K, Rolsted, K & MacSwan, J. (eds.), ISB4: Proceedings of the 4th International Symposium on Bilingualism, pp. 16141617. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.Google Scholar
Morales, A., & Hanson, W. E. (2005). Language brokering: An integrative review of the literature. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 27 (4), 471503.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Muñoz, M., & Marquardt, T. (2003). Picture naming and identification in bilingual speakers of Spanish and English with and without aphasia. Aphasiology, 17 (12), 11151132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Oller, D. K., & Eilers, R. E. (eds.) (2002). Language and literacy in bilingual children. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
Oller, D. K., Jarmulowicz, L., Gibson, T., & Hoff, E. (2007). First language vocabulary loss in early bilinguals during language immersion: A possible role for suppression. In Caunt-Milton, H., Kulatilake, S. & Woo, I. (eds.), Proceedings of the 31st Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development, pp. 474484. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.Google Scholar
Oller, D. K., Jarmulowicz, L., Pearson, B. Z., & Cobo-Lewis, A. B. (2010). Rapid spoken language shift in early second language learning: The role of peers and effects on L1. In Durgunouglu, A. & Goldenberg, C. (eds.), Dual language learners: Their development and assessment in oral and written language, pp. 94120. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
Oller, D. K., Pearson, B. Z., & Cobo-Lewis, A. B. (2007). Profile effects in early bilingual language and literacy. Applied Psycholinguistics, 28 (2), 191230.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Patterson, J. (2002). Relationships of expressive vocabulary to frequency of reading and television experience among bilingual toddlers. Applied Psycholinguistics, 23 (4), 493508.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pearson, B. Z., Fernández, S., Lewedeg, V., & Oller, [D.] K. (1997). The relation of input factors to lexical learning by bilingual infants. Applied Psycholinguistics, 18 (1), 4158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pearson, B. Z., Fernández, S., & Oller, [D.] K. (1995). Cross-language synonyms in the lexicons of bilingual infants: One language or two? Journal of Child Language, 22 (2), 345368.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Shin, S. (2002). Birth order and the language experience of bilingual children. TESOL Quarterly, 36 (1), 103113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stowe, L., & Sabourin, L. (2005). Imaging the processing of a second language: Effects of maturation and proficiency on the neural processes involved. International Review of Applied Linguistics, 43 (4), 329353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Swanson, H., Rosston, K., Gerber, M., & Solari, E. (2008). Influence of oral language and phonological awareness on children's bilingual reading. Journal of School Psychology, 46 (4), 413429.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Umbel, V. M., Oller, D. K. (1994). Developmental changes in receptive vocabulary in Hispanic bilingual school children. Language Learning, 44 (2), 221242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Umbel, V. M., Pearson, B. Z., Fernández, M. C., & Oller, D. K. (1992). Measuring bilingual children's receptive vocabularies. Child Development, 63 (4), 10121020.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Windsor, J., & Kohnert, K. (2004). The search for common ground. Part I: Lexical performance by linguistically diverse learners. Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research, 47 (4), 877890.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Woodcock, R. (1991). Woodcock Language Proficiency Battery – Revised (WLPB–R). Itasca, IL: Riverside Publishing.Google Scholar
Woodcock, R., & Muñoz-Sandoval, A. (1995). Woodcock Language Proficiency Battery – Revised: Spanish Form (WLPB–RS). Itasca, IL: Riverside Publishing.Google Scholar
Yan, S., & Nicoladis, E. (2009). Finding le mot juste: Differences between bilingual and monolingual children's lexical access in comprehension and production. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 12 (3), 323335.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

The receptive–expressive gap in the vocabulary of young second-language learners: Robustness and possible mechanisms*
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

The receptive–expressive gap in the vocabulary of young second-language learners: Robustness and possible mechanisms*
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

The receptive–expressive gap in the vocabulary of young second-language learners: Robustness and possible mechanisms*
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *