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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:53658
Doc. No:TL23612
Call number:‭NR27932‬
Main Entry:Parto Pajoohesh
Title & Author:Microanalysis of lexical depth in a second language: The implicit and the expressible aspects of the definitional skillParto Pajoohesh
College:University of Toronto (Canada)
Date:2007
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2007
Page No:258
Abstract:This research compares three groups of elementary-school children in Toronto by testing their deep lexical knowledge of specific words (implicit aspect) and grading their expression of such knowledge in a standard definition form (expressible aspect). Child participants were drawn from three groups of fifth and sixth graders: one monolingual group (English L1) and two bilingual groups (Farsi L1, English L2). These last were immigrant children with some formal content-based schooling in L1 (the content-based group) and immigrant children with basic L1 literacy through Toronto heritage-language schools (the heritage language group). To compare the children's lexical depth, all were tested on a Word Association Test (in English) and a Word Definition Task (in English and Farsi.) Their degree of expressible knowledge was derived from the quality of the definitions produced which were analyzed in terms of linguistic and semantic content. The research found that, in terms of implicit deep word knowledge, the heritage language group, the content-based group, and the monolingual group performed similarly in English on the Word Association Test. In terms of English expressible deep word knowledge, the heritage language group and the monolingual group performed similarly and, in some cases, better than the content-based group on the English Word Definition Task. For Farsi expressible deep word knowledge, there was no difference between the content-based group and the heritage language group on the Farsi Word Definition Task. The research showed the important role of curricular L2 exposure (or language of instruction) in the development of students' deep lexical knowledge, and the weaker role of L1 academic skill, be it lack of knowledge or transfer, in providing definitions in the L2. In other words, although the findings demonstrate that longer length of residence in an L2 context and L2 schooling correlates with better performance on the implicit and expressible measures of L2 lexical depth, longer residence in Iran with some L1 content-based schooling does not correlate with higher definitional quality in Farsi. This research concludes that for both aspects of lexical knowledge in children, length of residence in the L2 context and instruction in L2 may be more important than L1 literacy per se. This suggests that L1 literacy in a two-way bilingual education environment, and in combination with simultaneous L2 academic instruction, might have a stronger impact than mere L1 literacy on the development of academic skills and definitional knowledge.
Subject:Education; Definitional skill; Lexical depth; Second language; Bilingual education; Multicultural education; Elementary education; 0282:Multicultural education; 0524:Elementary education; 0282:Bilingual education
Added Entry:University of Toronto (Canada)