No AccessJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing ResearchResearch Article1 Oct 2002

Category-Generation Performance of Bilingual Children

The Influence of Condition, Category, and Language

    Research suggests that young children use a script-based slot-filler strategy to develop categories. Children are reported to develop a taxonomic strategy by about age 8. The purpose of this study was to examine how bilingual (Spanish-English) children used taxonomic versus slot-filler strategies in a category-generation task presented in each language. Results indicated that although younger bilingual children (M age=5;1) generated approximately equal numbers of items in both conditions, older bilingual children (M age=6;5) were beginning to demonstrate a taxonomic bias. Furthermore, although bilingual children tended to generate similar numbers of items in each language under the different conditions, comparisons between the two languages indicated that a large proportion (68.40%) of items was unique to either language.

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