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Title: A longitudinal twin study of Chinese children learning to read English as a second language
Author: Wong, Wai-Lap
ISNI:       0000 0004 2710 3181
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis investigated reading and related skills in Chinese children learning English as a second language (ESL) in 279 Chinese twin pairs aged from 3 to 11 years. Children were tested twice, a year apart, with measures of visual word recognition, receptive vocabulary, phonological awareness, phonological memory and speech perception in both Chinese and English and Chinese tone awareness. The thesis was divided into two sections with the first section exploring the phenotypic relationships and the second section estimating the genetic and environmental influences. In the first section, the causal relationships among the five ESL skills were modelled (chapter 4) and the relationships between Chinese and ESL skills were sought (chapter 4). In section two, the univariate heritability (chapter 6), the cross-linguistic genetic overlap (chapter 7) and the stability and instability of heritability estimates (chapter 8) for all skills were examined. Findings have shown that ESL speech perception is important to the development of ESL phonological awareness, phonological memory and receptive vocabulary, in turn, has an impact on ESL reading development. Genes play an important role in ESL and Chinese reading development. The differential environmental effects may be due to the differences in the ESL and Chinese acquisition ecologies.
Supervisor: Bishop, Dorothy ; Ho, Conni Suk-Han Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Psychology ; Developmental psychology ; Twin study ; Chinese learners of English ; Reading development ; speech perception