BY NANYANG TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY
Nanyang Technological University Assistant Professor Dr. Setoh Pei Pei (PhD, The University of Illinois), Director of the Early Cognition Laboratory, led a research team to measure the bilingual language development in children who were transiting from Kindergarten 2 to Primary School.
The objective of the research was to understand the impact of Little Skool-House’s literacy-based curriculum on bilingual proficiency (English and Mandarin).
A total of 68 children were involved in this study. The children had their English and Mandarin proficiencies measured at 2 intervals - once at the start of Kindergarten 2 in March/April 2018, and then again in October 2018, just before the end of Kindergarten 2.
Language proficiency measures the proficiency of the individual in understanding, speaking, reading, and writing each language.
Linguists refer to this as expressive vocabulary and receptive vocabulary.
Bilingual children are able to navigate and interact more confidently in the world. Also, they are more likely to be exposed to more than one culture as compared to their monolingual peers, or peers who speak only a single language.
This encourages social open-mindedness as children see the world through the eyes of more than one culture.
93% of Little Skool-House students achieved High Proficiency in both English and Mandarin.
Little Skool-House students' receptive vocabulary in both English and Mandarin increased in just 5 months.
Literacy environments matter. Language frequency at home and in school is positively related to a child's language proficiency. Pre-schools can support a child's learning where family litearcy environments fall short.
Literacy activities such as reading and storytelling have a positive impact on a child's vocabulary development, especially with Mandarin.
|Bilingual Profile||Assessment period|
|March-April 2018||October 2018|
Little Skool-House’s literacy-based approach and Pedagogy for Enhanced Mandarin Acquisition enables students to be highly proficient bilingually in English and Mandarin. This is achieved through 'living' the language (use of language for purposeful communication), rather than through rote memorisation or completion of multiple worksheets.
MAKE EVERY OPPORTUNITY COUNT.
GIVE YOUR CHILD A HEADSTART IN BILINGUAL PROFICIENCY
WITH SIMPLE ACTIONS.
Speak to your child in equal doses of English & Mandarin at home. If this is not feasible, consider sending your child early to a preschool as it can offer critical support for language learning.
Tell stories in Mandarin as it has been proven to improve a child's proficiency in the language. Ensure that there are equal number of English & Mandarin books at home.
Choose a preschool that has a robust curriculum & literacy-based approach as a strong supplement to grow your child's language capability.