Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Miękisz, A. Haman, E., Łuniewska, M., Kuś, K. O'Toole, C and Katsos, N.
International Journal Of Bilingual Education And Bilingualism
The impact of a first-generation immigrant enviroment on the heritage language: productive vocabularies of Polish toddlers living in the UK and Ireland
Optional Fields
Bilingual vocabulary, CDI, immigration, Polish, English
The expressive lexical skills of 53 Polish bilinguals aged 24–36 months living in the UK and Ireland were assessed using Polish and British English adaptations of the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventories. Polish vocabulary scores were compared to those of 53 Polish monolinguals matched for age, gender and parental education. The bilinguals were born to two Polish parents and mostly lived outside Poland since birth. Results showed substantial differences in Total Conceptual Vocabulary and single-language vocabulary scores between the groups. However, the groups did not differ on Total Vocabulary measures. In the bilingual sample, there were significant correlations between children’s frequency of language use and their vocabulary scores in the same language. A negative correlation between children’s frequency of English use and their Polish vocabulary scores was found. A complex pattern of factors relating to children’s low performance in Polish emerged. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses showed that low birth weight, parental concern about language, maternal educational level as well as maternal frequency of Polish and English use contributed to explaining children’s Polish vocabulary scores. Overall, results indicated the need for early additional support of the first language (L1) if long-term balanced bilingualism is to be attained.
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