c Language and Cognitive Development Lab - ICD - University of Minnesota

University of Minnesota
Driven to Discover

First and second-language vocabulary-learning among English-speaking preschoolers

The motivation for this work is that several findings suggest that learning vocabulary in a second language might be slower in young children. The goal of this project is to understand why that might be so. The extant literatures in cognitive and language development suggest several reasons. In this experiment, native English-speaking 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds from middle class homes in the Twin Cities will participate in a laboratory experiment at the University of Minnesota with different word-learning conditions that will enable us to separate the problem of learning second language vocabulary into different components. Preliminary evidence suggests that learning words in a second language is harder than learning words in a first language for young children.

Collaborators: Melissa Koenig, Caitlin Cole, and Mercedes Oromendia Fernandez

interviewer and study participant

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Last modified on November 20, 2008