Category-Generation Performance of Bilingual Children: The Influence of Condition, Category, and Language

Pena, Elizabeth D.; Bedore, Lisa M.; Zlatic-Giunta, Rebecca
October 2002
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Oct2002, Vol. 45 Issue 5, p938
Academic Journal
Research suggests that young children use a script-based slot-filler strategy to develop categories. Children are reported to develop a taxonomic strategy by about age 8. The purpose of this study was to examine how bilingual (Spanish-English) children used taxonomic versus slot-filler strategies in a category-generation task presented in each language. Results indicated that although younger bilingual children (M age = 5;1) generated approximately equal numbers of items in both conditions, older bilingual children (M age = 6;5) were beginning to demonstrate a taxonomic bias. Furthermore, although bilingual children tended to generate similar numbers of items in each language under the different conditions, comparisons between the two languages indicated that a large proportion (68.40%) of items was unique to either language.


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