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    A bilingual advantage in 54-month-olds’ use of referential cues in fast mapping

    Yow, W.Q. and Li, X. and Lam, S. and Gliga, Teodora and Chong, Y.S. and Kwek, K. and Broekman, B.F.P. (2017) A bilingual advantage in 54-month-olds’ use of referential cues in fast mapping. Developmental Science 20 (1), e12482. ISSN 1363-755x.

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    Research has demonstrated a bilingual advantage in how young children use referential cues such as eye gaze and pointing gesture to locate an object or to categorize objects. This study investigated the use of referential cues (i.e., eye gaze) in fast mapping in three groups of children that differed in their language exposure. One hundred and seven 54-month-old children who were English monolinguals (n=29), English-Mandarin bilinguals (n=48), and English-Mandarin bilinguals with exposure to a third language (i.e., trilinguals, n=31) were assessed with a wordlearning task using two types of tests – a referent test and a mutual exclusivity test. During the task, following the gaze of an adult speaker was needed to be able to indicate the correct referent of a novel word at test. All three groups of children demonstrated successful word learning in explicit selection of and implicit looking time toward the target object during testing. However, bilingual and trilingual children outperformed their monolingual peers in both types of tests when they were asked to explicitly select the correct objects. These findings suggest positive effects of bilingualism on children’s use of referential cues in fast mapping.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): bilingualism, referential cues, fast mapping, mutual exclusivity, eye-tracking
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2016 09:41
    Last Modified: 20 Jun 2024 23:20


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