Stork: Impact of heritage language on bilingual children's path to English literacy

IOULIA KOVELMAN (2018-07-02 to 2023-04-30) Impact of heritage language on bilingual children's path to English literacy. Amount: $1270837



Reading is one of the most important skills learned in early childhood. Unfortunately, bilingual learners in the US often fail to meet national standards in reading achievement (Hemphill, 2011). This proposal seeks to understand how bilingualism affects child literacy to advance science and inform individualized approaches to reading instruction and precision treatment of dyslexia for the growing numbers of young US bilinguals. The study's primary objective is to explain the effects of bilingualism on children's neural architecture for learning to read. This proposal advances current literacy perspectives (Lexical Quality Model; Perfetti Hart, 2002) suggesting that learning to read requires the interaction between the neurocognitive systems linking children's representations of word sounds, meanings and orthographic forms so children can form sound-to- print and meaning-to-print associations. However, different languages put more emphasis on different associations. Learning to read in Spanish prompts children to form stronger sound-to-print associations, while Chinese literacy prompts children to form stronger meaning-to-print associations. We draw upon this cross- linguistic evidence to examine bilingualism through the guiding hypothesis that bilinguals' developing neurocognitive systems are affected by their proficiency with characteristics of the languages being acquired. To test this hypothesis, we will use behavioral and functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) neuroimaging measures in each of the children's languages, testing Chinese-English bilinguals, Spanish- English bilinguals and English monolinguals ages 6?9 (N=300). We will also test a subset of these children longitudinally (N=150). All children will be attending English-only schools. The bilingual children will vary in heritage literacy instruction received at home or through partnering afterschool programs. Aim 1 is to determine how bilingualism impacts children's neural architecture for learning to read. Aim 2 is to map the neurocognitive trajectory for learning to read for the bilingual child. This theory-guided approach will provide a solid empirical basis to (1) uncover neurocognitive processes that support emergent English literacy in bilingual contexts; (2) inform theories of learning to read by providing principled evidence on bilingual acquisition of typologically-contrasting languages; (3) specify individual differences in the development of phonological and semantic literacy pathways critical to reading success. Such understanding will allow us to draw inferences about cross-linguistic learning experiences and sources of variation in bilinguals' strengths and weaknesses in learning to read in English. Taken together, the comprehensive behavioral and neuroimaging evidence on emergent dual-language and reading competence will provide rich information to inform theory, educational practices, and clinical approaches for a growing number of young bilingual and minority language learners.

阅读是幼儿时期学到的最重要的技能之一。不幸的是,美国的双语学习者在阅读成绩方面往往达不到国家标准(Hemphill,2011)。该提案旨在了解双语制如何影响儿童识字率以推动科学发展,并为越来越多的美国年轻双语者提供阅读教学和精确治疗阅读障碍的个性化方法。该研究的主要目的是解释双语对儿童神经结构学习阅读的影响。该提议推进了当前的读写观点(词汇质量模型; Perfetti Hart,2002),建议学习阅读需要神经认知系统之间的相互作用,将儿童的词语,意义和拼写形式的表现联系起来,这样孩子们就可以形成声音到印刷和意义到印刷协会。但是,不同的语言更加强调不同的关联。学习用西班牙语阅读会促使儿童形成更强大的声音 - 印刷协会,而中国的文化则促使儿童形成更强大的意义印刷协会。我们利用这种跨语言证据,通过指导假设来检验双语,即双语者正在发展的神经认知系统受其所掌握语言特征的熟练程度的影响。为了验证这一假设,我们将在每种儿童语言中使用行为和功能近红外光谱(fNIRS)神经影像学测量,测试汉英双语者,西班牙语 - 英语双语者和6至9岁(N = 300)的英语单语。我们还将纵向测试这些孩子的子集(N = 150)。所有的孩子都将上英语学校。双语儿童将在家中或通过合作课后计划获得遗产识字教学。目标1是确定双语制如何影响儿童的神经结构以便学习阅读。目标2是为双语儿童绘制学习阅读的神经认知轨迹。这种理论指导的方法将为以下方面提供坚实的实证基础:(1)揭示支持双语背景下英语读写能力的神经认知过程; (2)通过提供双语习得具有类型对比语言的原则证据,为学习阅读理论提供信息; (3)指出对阅读成功至关重要的语音和语义识字途径发展的个体差异。这样的理解将使我们能够推断出跨语言学习经验以及双语者学习英语阅读中的优缺点的变异来源。综合起来,关于新兴双语和阅读能力的综合行为和神经影像证据将为越来越多的年轻双语和少数民族语言学习者提供丰富的信息,为理论,教育实践和临床方法提供信息。

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