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Title: Cross-linguistic transfer of phonological awareness in Chinese children receiving English instruction : an intervention study
Author: Chan, Yu Wing (Brad)
ISNI:       0000 0004 7966 2831
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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The aim of the research is to investigate whether children transfer phonological awareness between languages. There is theoretical and practical significance to study the transfer of phonological awareness across languages. We can gain a better insight into how bilingual children develop phonological awareness in both languages, and how children's phonological awareness support learning to read in different orthographies. In practice, the transfer enables bilingual children to develop phonological awareness in their first language and transfer to their second language. The learning of second language can be made easier by transferring the prior phonological knowledge across languages. In Study 1, phonological measures were developed to assess the phonological awareness of English and Cantonese in parallel. The measures were rhyme oddity, initial phoneme deletion, and final phoneme deletion. The measures were evaluated, and the results showed that the English version and the Cantonese version of each measure were comparable to each other. In Study 2, phonological awareness was hypothesized as a language-general ability across languages. It was predicted that training English phonological awareness could enhance Cantonese phonological awareness and vice versa. One hundred and sixty-two Hong Kong children at age five were randomly assigned to English phonological training, Cantonese phonological training, or an active control of print concepts. The children were tested on English and Cantonese phonological awareness before and after the training by the three phonological awareness measures developed in Study 1. Results revealed that the English training group significantly outperformed the print concepts control group in all the Cantonese measures, whereas the Cantonese training group significantly outperformed the control group in all the English measures. The results provided strong evidence that there was a bidirectional transfer of phonological awareness between English and Cantonese, suggesting that phonological awareness is a language-general ability that can transfer across languages. Practical and theoretical implications of the findings of both studies were discussed.
Supervisor: Nunes, Terezinha Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Child Development ; Educational psychology ; Psycholinguistics