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UBC Theses and Dissertations

inguistic development in English, Chinese and Persian children : a longitudinal comparison Keen, Carrie A.


The linguistic development of English, Chinese, and Persian elementary school students was compared in order to identify possible language-based differences in the developmental trajectory of English grammatic, semantic, and morphosyntactic knowledge. The number and type of incorrect responses on an oral cloze test was used in an error analysis of each language group. Errors were classified as grammatic, semantic, or morphosyntactic, with an additional category for instances where students did not respond or said, "I don't know". Each error category was expressed as a proportion of errors out of the number of incorrect responses. All students demonstrated similar trajectories in their semantic and grammatic development, but the Chinese students exhibited a delay in morphosyntactic knowledge relative to the English students in grades 2 and 3. Information from contrastive analyses is used to explain the apparent languagebased morphosyntactic error pattern of the Chinese students, and pedagogical implications of the results of the study are discussed.

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