University of Hertfordshire

By the same authors

Lexikalische Entwicklung von bilingualen Vorschulkindern

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

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Original languageGerman
Title of host publicationWortschatzlernen in bilingualen Schulen und Kindertagesstaetten
EditorsAnja Steinlen, Thorsten Piske
Place of PublicationFrankfurt
PublisherPeter Lang GmbH
Pages65 - 82
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-653-04973-2
ISBN (Print)978-3631656488
Publication statusPublished - 2016


Previous studies investigating vocabulary in bilingual and monolingual children show that bilingual children’s vocabulary scores are often below monolingual norms. The current study investigates the receptive and productive vocabulary of a group of 30 monolingual English children as well as 30 English-German bilingual children aged 3 – 5. The bilingual children were divided into two groups, depending on language dominance. While the English dominant bilingual children are not different from the monolinguals, the German dominant children were significantly below the vocabulary level of monolingual children, both in terms of receptive as well as productive vocabulary.

When comparing the bilingual children in terms of their vocabulary level in both languages, the German dominant children showed similar, if lower levels of vocabulary for both. The English dominant children, on the other hand, were very much lower in their German vocabulary compared to the German norms. The results confirm that also in the context of immersion learning, a comparison between bilingual and monolingual children’s vocabularies is limited, unless children’s detailed language background and language dominance are taken into consideration.


Christina Schelletter, ‘Lexikalische Entwicklung von bilingualen Vorschulkindern’, in Anja Steinlen, Thorsten Piske, eds., Wortschatzlernen in bilingualen Schulen und Kindertagesstaetten, (Frankfurt: Peter Lang GmbH, 2016), ISBN 978-3631656488, eISBN 978-3-653-04973-2, DOI 10.3726/978-3-653-04973-2.

ID: 10477546