Effects of Second Language Acquisition on Narrative Structure and Linguistic Processes in Preschool and School-Aged Children
This research examines the effects of second language acquisition in early childhood on the structural and linguistic properties of narrative skills in the child's native language. To investigate these questions, narrative and vocabulary skills in monolingual and bilingual children (Frog story) were evaluated. One hundred and twelve five- and seven-year-old monolingual (Language 1 [L1]: Mother tongue, Turkish) (N = 61) and bilingual (L1, Turkish; Language 2 [L2]: Second language, English) (N = 51) children participated in the study. Narrative skills were evaluated only for Turkish for monolingual children, whereas bilingual children were tested in English as well, the latter test taking place on a separate day. For the structural evaluation of narrative discourse, a schema is used to evaluate the narrative skills of bilingual children. The elements in the schema are: Frog story elements, sequence, perspective / emotion and affect, and finally engagement. In order to evaluate the linguistic complexity simple and complex clauses were coded. The percentage of complex clauses with respect to total clauses was used as an indication of linguistic complexity. There were two age groups in the monolingual and bilingual groups. The findings revealed that in L1: Turkish, bilingual and monolingual children differed for narrative structure components regardless of age group. Monolinguals outperformed their bilingual peers for frog story elements, sequence, perspective affect, and engagement. Age differences indicated that for five-year-olds there were no differences between monolinguals and bilinguals for perspective affect and engagement which were difficult skills to display at that age. Monolingual children were better at incorporating more complex structures into their narratives compared to bilinguals. It was found that bilingual and monolingual children did not differ in L1 vocabulary skills. The results showed that early exposure to L2 might result in negative outcomes for L1 narrative development.
SourceStudies in Psychology-Psikoloji Çalışmaları Dergisi
KeywordsSecond language acquisition