The dissociative effects of bilingualism on the performance of reading tasks in primary school children
2015 (English)In: British journal of Education, Society and Behavioral science, ISSN 2278-0998, Vol. 8, no 1, 47-62 p., 10.9734/BJESBS/2015/16760Article in journal, Editorial material (Refereed) Published
The aim of the study is to examine the possible dissociative effects of bilingualism on the complex and cognitively challenging task of reading. The underlying assumption is that there are two paths to reading: the lexical (semantic) path and the non-lexical (phonological) path. Bilingual individuals and monolingual individuals may assign different weights to these routes, preferring in a practical sense one over the other. It is theoretically important to know how bilingualism would function differently with reading tasks based on these two types of cognitive paths. It is also practically important to apply this knowledge as educational support for bilingual children. The design of the study is three language groups x five school grades x two lexical reading tasks x three non-lexical reading tasks. In total, 1614 monolingual (Persian) and bilingual (Turkish-Persian and Kurdish-Persian) primary school children (grades 1-5) are randomly included in this study from three different cities (Tehran, Tabriz and Sanandaj) of Iran. They are assessed on two lexical or semantic reading tasks (word reading and word chains) and three non-lexical or phonological reading tasks (rhyming, reading for non-pseudo words and phoneme deletion).
The children’s response scores are analyzed and the hypotheses are tested at 0.05 level of significance by using the SPSS program. The results show that Persian monolingual children significantly perform better than bilingual children in lexical reading tasks, whereas bilingual children perform better than monolingual children in non-lexical reading tasks (except phoneme deletion task) (Ps < .001). The bilingual disadvantage is observed more for Turkish-Persian bilinguals, whereas the bilingual advantage is observed more for Kurdish-Persian bilinguals. The results of this study support the dissociative effects of bilingualism in reading tasks: Lexical or semantic reading tasks and non-lexical or phonological reading tasks measure different levels of reading skills and are used differently by bilinguals. Similarity/dissimilarity between two languages and language proficiency may also have some impacts on bilingual advantages or disadvantages.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sciencedomain intenational , 2015. Vol. 8, no 1, 47-62 p., 10.9734/BJESBS/2015/16760
Bilingualism; dissociative effects; lexical reading tasks; non-lexical reading tasks; primary
Research subject Psychology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-45613DOI: 10.9734/BJESBS/2015/16760OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-45613DiVA: diva2:847263