Wong-Fillmore, L. (1991). When Learning a Second Language Means Losing the First.
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Study Rationale: Language loss requires explanation Research Questions: PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Wong-Fillmore, L. (1991). When Learning a Second Language Means Losing the First. Early Childhood Research Quarterly 6 , 323-46. [Judy Hicks, Abstract #2]. Comparison Sample Group. Main Sample Group. Study Rationale: Language loss requires explanation Research Questions:

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Study Rationale: Language loss requires explanation Research Questions:

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Study rationale language loss requires explanation research questions

Wong-Fillmore, L. (1991). When Learning a Second Language Means Losing the First. Early Childhood Research Quarterly 6, 323-46. [Judy Hicks, Abstract #2]

Comparison Sample Group

Main Sample Group

Study

Rationale: Language loss requires explanation

Research Questions:

  • Under what conditions and how do children lose their L1?

  • How does EO or Bilingual education contribute to language loss?

    Methods: Interviews of 1,100 families (conducted by volunteers) with 43 forced-choice and 2 open-ended questions. Approx 1/3 of the families (the comparison group) had children in Spanish-only preschools the other families (main sample group) were representative of the other L1s in CA. 98% of families had an L1 other than English.

  • Strengths:

  • Large N, exhaustive interviews, representative sample of families; main sample group and comparison group included

  • Detailed analyses on a number of dimensions (type of preschool, birth order of child, length of residence, primary caregiver, etc.)

  • Weaknesses:

  • It is impossible, from this data, to draw causal conclusions between language use in preschool programs and shifts in language use at home.

  • The comparison sample is all Spanish-speaking, while the main sample is all other L1s. This seems problematic re: cultural differences.

  • The study is descriptive, but it lacks an exploration of the “hows” of language loss and language learning.

  • Findings/Theories developed from the data

  • The younger children are when they learn English, the more dramatic the effect on language use in their homes.

  • Powerful forces for assimilation speed language loss.

  • Parents lose the ability to socialize their children.

  • Children should not be required to learn English until they have a firm grasp on their L1.


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