Morphological and Syntactic Abilities in Taiwanese EFL Preschoolers’ Oral Narratives

| December 24, 2010
Title
Morphological and Syntactic Abilities in Taiwanese EFL Preschoolers Oral Narratives

Keywords: morphological abilities, syntactic abilities, children s oral narratives, EFL, Taiwan

Authors
Ying-Chieh Chiang & Lu-Chun Lin
National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan

Bio Data
Ying-Chieh Chiang is a research assistant in the Graduate Institute of TESOL at National Chiao Tung University (NCTU), Taiwan. She has completed her master s degree in TESOL from NCTU. Her research interest is in EFL children s language development.

Lu-Chun Lin is an Assistant Professor in the Graduate Institute of TESOL at National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan. She received her Ph.D. degree in Speech and Hearing Science with a second concentration in Second Language Acquisition and Teacher Education at the University of Illinois in 2006. Her past research focused on first and second language development and disorders. Her recent research has been expanded to examine EFL children s vocabulary, reading, and writing development both within and across languages.

Abstract
Children s morphological and syntactic abilities have often been used to understand their language development. One common method of assessing children s morphological and syntactic level is to analyze their oral narratives. The present study, therefore, examined the morphological and syntactical abilities of preschool children learning English as a Foreign Language (EFL) in Taiwan. Their Mandarin and English oral narratives were elicited by a wordless picture book, Frog, where are you? (Mayer, 1969). The children s language productivity was also measured to determine whether there was a significant language effect on the children s language productivity. Results showed a significant language effect on language productivity measures. Analyses of morphological errors suggested that the children had more morphological error patterns in English, while relatively fewer children made morphological errors in Mandarin. For measures of syntactic structures, the children used more diverse syntactic structures in Mandarin than in English. The findings from this work provide EFL practitioners with useful insights into the morphological and syntactic abilities evidenced in EFL preschoolers oral narratives in both languages.

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Category: Quarterly Journal, Volume 12 Issue 4