Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2017

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Pui Fong Kan

Second Advisor

Kathryn Arehart

Third Advisor

Bhuvana Narasimhan

Abstract

Bilingualism is when an individual is able to utilize at least two languages. If a person speaks two languages, it is beneficial for them both socially and for their brain development. This study focuses on the language input of sequential bilingual children in a bilingual Head Start program that promotes early childhood development and school readiness for low income families. There were six participants and their families in this study. To examine these children's use of language, parental questionnaires and auditory recordings from the children's day were utilized. Each family that participated in this study completed a questionnaire about their child which included family history and information on languages that are spoken at home. These parent reports gave insight to clinicians about the child directly from someone who was close to them. The audio recordings were retrieved from a device that the children were required to wear that depicted a typical day of language use. These recordings included linguistic information from both their school and home environments. Both the audio recordings and the parent reports were examined to compare data from a child's day as recorded in the audio recordings to what the parent report stated. The results provides some information about children's language input in L1 (Cantonese) and in L2 (English) at home and in school. The findings suggested that there are advantages and disadvantages of auditory recording and questionnaires. The results could be useful for clinicians and teachers who work with young bilingual children.