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Social competence of bilingual and monolingual native English speaking preschoolers: A comparison of parent and teacher perspectives


Effective peer interaction is fundamental to social development, cognitive development, and academic success. Young children’s early exposure to and development of social competence begins in the home and is further developed upon entry into early childhood programmes. In the United States, where early childhood programmes serve increasingly diverse families, discrepancies between families and teachers in relation to the social competencies valued may exist. This study compares parent and teacher perspectives of children’s social competence (i.e. social skills and problem behaviours) and whether similarities and differences in perspectives are associated with children’s classification as an emergent bilingual or monolingual native English speaker. Findings indicate statistically significant differences in parent and teacher ratings on the empathy, externalizing, and hyperactivity subscales for bilingual children and on the empathy, self-control, internalizing, externalizing, and hyperactivity subscales for monolingual English-speaking children. Recommendations for future research are discussed. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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