Why Singapore? 3 major ethnic groups: 77% Chinese 14% Malay 8% Indian 4 official languages: Mandarin, Malay, Tamil, & English Most families are not native-English speakers English is the medium of education Mother Tongue is a required subject
Why Singapore? Third International Math and Science Study (TIMSS) 1995 Third International Math and Science Study-Repeat (TIMSS-R) 1999 Reading Literacy Study 1991 Progress in Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) 2001
Previous Research: TV and L1 vocabulary L1 English-speaking children learned vocabulary presented through TV (Rice & Woodsmall, 1988) Viewing Sesame Street was correlated with vocabulary growth among L1 English- speaking children (Rice, Huston, Truglio, & Wright, 1990).
Previous Research: TV and L2 vocabulary Home TV viewing significantly predicted Spanish-English bilingual childrens receptive and expressive English vocabulary at the beginning and end of kindergarten in the US (Uchikoshi, 2004). Dutch children learned L2 vocabulary through viewing subtitled and unsubtitled English TV programs (Koolstra & Beentjes, 1999)
Previous Research: TV and L2 vocabulary Frequency of TV viewing did not significantly predict English vocabulary of bilingual 2-year- old children in the US (Patterson, 2002)
Research Question What is the role of caretaker language, TV language and mother tongue vocabulary in predicting English vocabulary of kindergarten pupils in Singapore?
Stratified Random Sample of Kindergarten Centers by Region http://www.cdc.org.sg/index.html 28 centers participated
Within Center, Stratified Random Sample of Children by Ethnicity n = 285 59% Chinese 22% Malay 18% Indian http://www.mfa.gov.sg/sections/aboutsg/idx_aboutsg.htm
Sample by Home Language Language categoryPercentage (n = 285) English only16% English and Other27% Other Language Only 56%
Predictors Home Background Questionnaire Caretaker language TV language Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-III Translated into Mandarin, Malay & Tamil
Outcome Measures Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test III (PPVT-III) in English
Control Variables Home Background Questionnaire Mothers education Family income Ethnicity Gender
6 local bilingual Research Assistants administered tests Fluent Mandarin, Malay, & Tamil speakers Trained to administer child assessments All data were collected within a 3-week period in July, 2003
Predicting English Vocabulary (n=285) Unconditional Model Final Model Intercept79.87***36.75*** Mothers Education0.90*** Gender-1.43 CT English only5.23* CT English + other5.24** TV English mostly10.53*** TV English + other4.65~ Family Income3.88*** MT Vocabulary0.27*** MT Vocab*Income-0.04* Malay-1.63 Indian1.85 σ2uσ2u 47.2818.59 σ2eσ2e 194.35140.42 -2LL2343.302240.50 df11
Discussion Supports studies that indicate children can learn vocabulary from TV (Uchikoshi, 2004; Koolstra & Beentjes, 1999; Rice, Huston, Truglio, & Wright, 1990; Rice & Woodsmall, 1988)
Discussion Seems to contradict the finding that number of hours of TV viewing did not significantly predict bilingual childrens English vocabulary (Patterson, 2002) BUT Number of hours of TV viewing was not significant
Acknowledgements Catherine Snow Terry Tivnan Barbara Pan John Willett Spencer Research Training Grant
References Koolstra, C. M., & Beentjes, J. W. J. (1999). Children's vocabulary acquisition in a foreign language through watching subtitled television programs at home. Educational Technology Research and Development, 47(1), 51-60. Patterson, J. L. (2002). Relationships of expressive vocabulary to frequency of reading and television experience among bilingual toddlers. Applied Psycholinguistics, 23(4), 493-508. Rice, M. L., Huston, A. C., Truglio, R., & Wright, J. (1990). Words from "Sesame Street": Learning vocabulary while viewing. Develomental Psychology, 26(3), 421-428. Rice, M. L., & Woodsmall, L. (1988). Lessons from television: Children's word learning when viewing. Child Development, 59, 420-429.
References Uchikoshi, Y. (2004). Development of early literacy skills of bilingual kindergarteners: An individual growth modeling approach. Harvard, Cambridge, MA.