The Differential Effect of Print Consistency on Oral Vocabulary Learning in Bilingual Children

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Malette, Melissa




Research supports that the incidental exposure to print during oral vocabulary learning facilitates the acquisition of spoken words. However, it is not clear how this effect is moderated by print consistency. The current study examined whether different inconsistencies would moderate oral vocabulary learning when the children spoke more than one language. A paired-associate learning paradigm was used to teach French-English bilingual children (7 to 10 years old) novel labels for object referents. Children learned three types of non-words: non-words with a consistent-print, a final silent letter (common to French), and a double consonant in medial position (common to French and English). Unexpectedly, children learned consistent and double-consonant non-words more easily than silent-letter non-words. There were no differences between consistent and double-consonant non-words. This effect was maintained on expressive vocabulary one day later. However, children’s spellings indicated the consistent non-words were easier to spell than both silent-letter and double-consonant non-words.


Psychology - Developmental




Carleton University

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