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Songs vs. stories: Impact of input sources on ESL vocabulary acquisition by preliterate children

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Description:
Research in second language acquisition has paid little attention to preliterate children learning a language which is absent from their environment outside the language class. This study examines the acquisition of English words by 24 French-speaking children aged 35-59 months, who were introduced to 57 words, embedded in stories and songs. Four stories and four songs were randomly spread across four consecutive weekly workshops consisting of play-based pedagogical activities. The impact of the input source, number of encounters with each lexical item, animacy as a feature of the lexical items, and first language (L1) lexicon size was examined. Recall of target words was assessed through the selection between four images after hearing the word, and L1 lexicon was assessed through the Peabody test. Results show significantly higher recall for animate concepts, while no difference in recall was found in relation to input source (words in songs vs. stories) or L1 lexicon size. Results also stress the need for a possibly higher number of encounters than that normally found for adults in order to achieve significant recall. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
Country:
Canada

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