BilingChildren

PI: Kim Oller
Co-PI: Linda Jarmulowicz

What are the advantages and the costs of learning more than one language in childhood?

We study how children learn two languages simultaneously or how they learn a second language, especially when they start school without any experience in the new language. The work is conducted in various settings including schools in Memphis and in a collaborative site in Mexico.

A key question is how fast do children acquire a second language and what effect does the learning have on the first language? In many cases children appear to lose native command of the first language surprisingly rapidly. Other important questions concern optimal procedures of education to support oral language as well as literacy. Of particular interest to us is the role of phonological learning in both languages of a bilingual child in terms of effect on reading acquisition. Intervention to support phonological awareness in both languages is an additional focus for our literacy efforts.

Past Funding:

  • Phonology and Literacy in Early Bilinguals. Funding Agency: NIH, NICHD. $2,000,000.

 
Publications:

  • Gibson, T. A., Oller, D. K. & Jarmulowicz, L.. (in press). Difficulties Using Standardized Tests to Identify the Receptive Expressive Gap in Bilingual Children's Vocabularies. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition.
  • Farran, L., Lee, C-C., Yoo, H., & Oller, D. K. (2016). Cross-Cultural Register Differences in Infant-Directed Speech: An Initial Study. PLoS ONE 11(3): e0151518. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0151518 PMC4794163
  • Lee, C-C., Jhang, Y., Relyea, G., & Oller, D.K. (2016). Subtlety of ambient-language effects in babbling: A study of English- and Chinese-learning infants at 8, 10, and 12 months. Language Learning and Development. DOI: 10.1080/15475441.2016.1180983 NIHMSID #821602
  • Buder, E. H., Jarmulowicz., L. & Oller, D. K. (2013). Acquisition of the English Voicing Contrast by Native Spanish-Speaking Children: Phonological Development in Voice Onset Times. In B. Peter & A. MacLeod (Eds.), Comprehensive perspectives on child speech development and disorders: Pathways from linguistic theory to clinical practice. Hauppage, NY: Nova Science Publishers, Inc. pp. 305-342.
  • Gibson, T., Oller, D. K., Jarmulowicz, L., Ethington, C. (2012). The receptive-expressive gap in the vocabulary of young second-language learners: Robustness and possible mechanisms. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 15, 102-116. NIHMSID # 239126.
  • Oller, D. K., Pearson, B. and Cobo-Lewis, A. (2007). Profile effects in early bilingual language and literacy acquisition. Applied Psycholinguistics, 28, 198-229.

Presentations:

  • Lee, C-C., Long, H., Jhang, Y., Yoo, H., Chen, L-M., Oller, D. K. (2016). Effects of Social & Non-Social Circumstances on Canonical Babbling Ratios in English- & Chinese-Learning Infants. Poster for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Philadelphia.
  • Farran, L. Yoo, H., Lee, C.C., Oller, D. K. (2016). The Temporal Coordination of Mother-Infant Vocal Interactions Across Speech Registers & Cultures. Poster for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Philadelphia.
  • McMillen, S., Jarmulowicz, L., Rogers, J., Saunders, A., Oller, D. K. (2015).Objetos y Colores: Longitudinal Rapid Automatic Naming Performance for Young English Language Learners. Poster for the annual meeting of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Denver, CO.
  • Skipsey, Maria Boy, Todd A. Gibson, Emily P. Mitchell, Linda Jarmulowicz, & D. Kimbrough Oller (2014). Nonword Repetition
  • Mitchell, Emily P., Todd A. Gibson, Linda Jarmulowicz, & D. Kimbrough Oller (2014). Articulation Rate During Non-Word Repetition Tasks and Its Relationship to Kindergarteners' Vocabulary Knowledge. Poster for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Orlando, FL.
  • Burrows, Lauren, Linda Jarmulowicz, & D. Kimbrough Oller (2014). English Language Learners' Performance on an English Elision Task in Kindergarten. Poster for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Orlando, FL.
  • Burrows, L., Linda Jarmulowicz, D. Kimbrough Oller (2013). Allophony in Bilingual Learners: A Longitudinal Study. Oral presentation for the annual meeting of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Chicago, IL.