Margarita Kaushanskaya, PhD – Slide of the Week

Margarita Kaushanskaya, PhD - Slide of the Week

Title: Cycles to criterion in Code-Switched vs. English-only Conditions

Legend: Spanish-English bilingual children required fewer learning cycles to reach learning criterion in the Code-Switched Condition (English and Spanish) than in the English-only condition. Dots represent the maximum number of cycles required for participants to meet learning criteria in each condition. Lines show performance across conditions for an individual participant.

Citation: Kaushanskaya, M., Crespo, K., & Neveu, A. (2022). Does code-switching influence novel word learning?. Developmental Science, e13292. Advance online publication.

Abstract: Code-switching occurs regularly in the input to bilingual children. Yet, the effect of code-switched input on language development is unclear. To test whether word learning would be affected by code-switching, Spanish-English bilingual children (N = 45, 19 boys, MeanAge = 5.05 years; ethnicity: 37 Hispanic/Latino, six Non-Hispanic/Latino, two unreported) were taught English-like novel words in two conditions. In the English-only condition, definitions for novel words were provided entirely in English. In the code-switch condition, definitions for novel words were provided in English and Spanish, incorporating code-switches. Children required fewer exposures to retain novel words in the code-switch than the English-only condition and this effect was not moderated by children’s language ability or exposure to code-switching, suggesting that code-switched input does not pose word-learning risks to bilingual children, including children with lower levels of language ability.

About the Lab: Margarita Kaushanskaya is a professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. Research in her Language Acquisition and Bilingualism Lab (LAB) examines language and cognitive development in bilingual children with and without developmental disabilities.

Investigator: Margarita Kaushanskaya, PhD

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