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postgraduate thesis: Home and school influences on the English vocabulary development of Chinese preschoolers in Hong Kong

TitleHome and school influences on the English vocabulary development of Chinese preschoolers in Hong Kong
Authors
Issue Date2014
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Lau, G. C. [劉姬莉]. (2014). Home and school influences on the English vocabulary development of Chinese preschoolers in Hong Kong. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5387975
AbstractThe teaching and learning of English is pervasive in Hong Kong, and children begin to learn English as a second language from as early as when they enter kindergarten at the age of three. Early vocabulary development (i.e., the knowledge of word meanings) is one of the important building blocks for reading development in English. This thesis portrayed two contexts, namely the home and the school, within which the teaching and learning of English vocabulary occurred for young children in Hong Kong. Two studies were conducted to (i) describe the home literacy environment and the English vocabulary skills of children from different socioeconomic backgrounds; (ii) explore the relationship between the home literacy environment and children’s English vocabulary skills; (iii) describe the contexts in which English vocabulary instruction occurred; and (iv) identify the teaching strategies adopted by teachers during English vocabulary instruction in early childhood classrooms. In Study 1, participants were 65 Chinese children (including 40 girls) and their mothers or fathers from four kindergartens. Children’s nonverbal IQ and receptive and expressive vocabulary were assessed. Parents completed a questionnaire which tapped family demographics and the home literacy environment. There were significant differences in home literacy practices and English vocabulary skills as a function of socio-economic status. The home literacy environment, as measured by book reading practices and the teaching of print-related skills, accounted for unique additional variance in English receptive and expressive vocabulary after controlling for the effects of child age, nonverbal IQ and maternal education. In Study 2, English vocabulary instruction was observed in six early childhood classrooms from three kindergartens over the course of a week. From 23 sessions of observations and 535 minutes of data, field notes were coded to identify the contexts of vocabulary instruction and the strategies used in teaching words. The teaching of vocabulary occurred in 12 out of 23 sessions and words were taught within the context of theme-based learning, systematic phonics instruction and storybook read-aloud. Teachers predominantly used certain strategies that promoted children’s recognition and memorization of words, such as the use of visuals, the emphasis on the pronunciation and written form of words, and pointing and labeling of words. This thesis provides an account of the home and school context for the English vocabulary development of Chinese children learning English as a second language. The findings highlight the importance of a rich home literacy environment for the support of second language vocabulary development and reflect the instructional strategies used in early childhood classrooms to facilitate word learning. Implications of these findings are discussed.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectEnglish language - Study and teaching (Early childhood) - China - Hong Kong
Vocabulary - Study and teaching (Early childhood) - China - Hong Kong
English language - Study and teaching (Early childhood) - Chinese speakers
Dept/ProgramEducation
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/208573

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorLau, Gay-lei, Carrie-
dc.contributor.author劉姬莉-
dc.date.accessioned2015-03-13T01:43:59Z-
dc.date.available2015-03-13T01:43:59Z-
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.identifier.citationLau, G. C. [劉姬莉]. (2014). Home and school influences on the English vocabulary development of Chinese preschoolers in Hong Kong. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5387975-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/208573-
dc.description.abstractThe teaching and learning of English is pervasive in Hong Kong, and children begin to learn English as a second language from as early as when they enter kindergarten at the age of three. Early vocabulary development (i.e., the knowledge of word meanings) is one of the important building blocks for reading development in English. This thesis portrayed two contexts, namely the home and the school, within which the teaching and learning of English vocabulary occurred for young children in Hong Kong. Two studies were conducted to (i) describe the home literacy environment and the English vocabulary skills of children from different socioeconomic backgrounds; (ii) explore the relationship between the home literacy environment and children’s English vocabulary skills; (iii) describe the contexts in which English vocabulary instruction occurred; and (iv) identify the teaching strategies adopted by teachers during English vocabulary instruction in early childhood classrooms. In Study 1, participants were 65 Chinese children (including 40 girls) and their mothers or fathers from four kindergartens. Children’s nonverbal IQ and receptive and expressive vocabulary were assessed. Parents completed a questionnaire which tapped family demographics and the home literacy environment. There were significant differences in home literacy practices and English vocabulary skills as a function of socio-economic status. The home literacy environment, as measured by book reading practices and the teaching of print-related skills, accounted for unique additional variance in English receptive and expressive vocabulary after controlling for the effects of child age, nonverbal IQ and maternal education. In Study 2, English vocabulary instruction was observed in six early childhood classrooms from three kindergartens over the course of a week. From 23 sessions of observations and 535 minutes of data, field notes were coded to identify the contexts of vocabulary instruction and the strategies used in teaching words. The teaching of vocabulary occurred in 12 out of 23 sessions and words were taught within the context of theme-based learning, systematic phonics instruction and storybook read-aloud. Teachers predominantly used certain strategies that promoted children’s recognition and memorization of words, such as the use of visuals, the emphasis on the pronunciation and written form of words, and pointing and labeling of words. This thesis provides an account of the home and school context for the English vocabulary development of Chinese children learning English as a second language. The findings highlight the importance of a rich home literacy environment for the support of second language vocabulary development and reflect the instructional strategies used in early childhood classrooms to facilitate word learning. Implications of these findings are discussed.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subject.lcshEnglish language - Study and teaching (Early childhood) - China - Hong Kong-
dc.subject.lcshVocabulary - Study and teaching (Early childhood) - China - Hong Kong-
dc.subject.lcshEnglish language - Study and teaching (Early childhood) - Chinese speakers-
dc.titleHome and school influences on the English vocabulary development of Chinese preschoolers in Hong Kong-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5387975-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEducation-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5387975-

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