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English attrition in Korean-English bilingual children

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Item Summary

Title: English attrition in Korean-English bilingual children
Authors: Kang, Sang-gu
Keywords: bilingual
Issue Date: Aug 2011
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [August 2011]
Abstract: The main goal of this dissertation is to investigate English attrition in three Korean-English bilingual children who had returned to Korea after a two-year stay in the U.S. Although the children had lived in the U.S. for two years, individual English proficiency varied, perhaps due to factors such as age and environment, resulting in different paths and rates of attrition. Repeated experiments on the children's production and comprehension of English articles, irregular past tense verbs, passives, and relative clauses were conducted. Results on these four phenomena as well as observation of code switching and of the use of null subjects are reported. The findings suggest that the attrition is first detected in the speakers' general processing skills in production. Thus, the experiments that are targeted to examine a few aspects of English grammar are likely to produce meaningful results only after attrition is detected in production errors.
The contribution of this study is greater in the area of methodology rather than in the results themselves. Collecting data at different points in time repeatedly using the same material appeared to offer an effective measure of attrition. In addition, it seems clear that Korean-English bilinguals' English attrition is not likely to occur within a short period because of the highly valued status of English in Korea.
The scope of attrition research is much wider than mere descriptions of the phenomenon. From the researcher's stance, issues such as theory and methodology can be interesting. However, from the attriters' and their parents' viewpoint, pedagogies customized for returnees could well be the most meaningful contribution of attrition research. The first step for researchers is to describe the attrition phenomenon and establish related theories. Then, based on these foundations, pedagogies that will benefit those trying to evade attrition can be developed.
Description: Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2011.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - Linguistics

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