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English Spoken by Immigrant Children: Learning a Second Language Phonology in Early Childhood

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • SSHRC IG awarded 2015 (2014 competition): ESL acquisition in early childhood is not well understood or even well-documented. Early L2 child speakers appear to produce more varied types of phonological errors compared with monolingual children, some but not all of which are predictable from their own mother tongues. The project will collect longitudinal data over an eighteen month period, from immigrant children aged four to seven and their parents, living in Edmonton and Vancouver. The ultimate result will be the first robust data set of ESL child phonology in Canada, accessible to researchers in academic, educational and clinical capacities. Understanding the roles of mother tongues and perceptual plasticity in young children's second language acquisition is crucial to children's development and well-being in an increasingly multi-cultural and multi-lingual Canada. By providing linguistically-informed measures of how first language phonology affects young immigrants' spoken English, these results will provide data to inform pedagogical norms in early education, as well as ultimately identifying clinical markers for diagnosing speech delays and disorders among young L2 speakers.

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  • Type of Item
    Research Material
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  • License
    Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 International