Pauline Schröter and Sascha Schroeder

Orthographic processing in balanced bilingual children: Cross-language evidence from cognates and false friends.

Journal of Experimental Child Psychology

We investigated whether beginning bilingual readers activate orthographic as well as semantic representations in both of their languages while reading in one of them. Balanced bilingual third graders who were learning to read concurrently in German and English completed two lexical decision tasks, one in each language, including cognates, false friends, and matched control words. Results showed a processing advantage for cognates over controls in both languages, indicating that the facilitation effect is driven by the level of balanced language proficiency rather than by experience with print. Except for lower accuracy scores in German, false friends did not differ in their processing from controls, pointing to the presence of semantic-to-orthographic feedback already in the beginning of reading acquisition. Confirming assumptions by the bilingual interactive activation plus (BIA+) model as well as the revised hierarchical model (RHM), findings suggest that in their strategy to resolve orthographic ambiguity, balanced bilingual children are more comparable to bilingual adults than to child second-language (L2) learners. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

Accession Number: 2015-49381-018. Partial author list: First Author & Affiliation: Schröter, Pauline; Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany. Release Date: 20151109. Correction Date: 20171009. Publication Type: Journal (0100), Peer Reviewed Journal (0110). Format Covered: Electronic. Document Type: Journal Article. Language: English. Major Descriptor: Bilingualism; Childhood Development; Lexical Access; Orthography; Reading Development. Classification: Cognitive & Perceptual Development (2820). Population: Human (10); Male (30); Female (40). Location: Germany. Age Group: Childhood (birth-12 yrs) (100); School Age (6-12 yrs) (180). Tests & Measures: Culture Fair Test-20-Revised-German Version; Test of Word Reading Efficiency; Culture Fair Test 20-R; British Picture Vocabulary Scale. Methodology: Empirical Study; Quantitative Study. References Available: Y. Page Count: 8. Issue Publication Date: Jan, 2016. Publication History: First Posted Date: Oct 9, 2015. Copyright Statement: All rights reserved. Elsevier Inc. 2015.