SHIRAI Yasuhiro 白井恭弘

Research Projects


  • Childhood Bilingualism and Second Language Acquisition in Hong Kong Children
  • YIP Choy Yin Virginia, MATTHEWS Stephen James*, SHIRAI Yasuhiro
    1 January 2006
    Research Grants Council (Earmarked Grants)

    Hong Kong children who are exposed to both Cantonese and English in their preschool years achieve various degrees of bilingualism. This project focuses on the interface between bilingual first language acquisition (i.e. the acquisition of two first languages simultaneously) and child second language acquisition (i.e. the acquisition of a second language after a first language is acquired.) We investigate the developmental processes underlying Hong Kong children.s acquisition of bilingual and second language competence. In the two acquisition contexts, we seek to address (a) empirical issues regarding the ways in which different groups of child learners exhibit similarities and differences in terms of their developmental profiles and ultimate attainment; and (b) theoretical issues regarding the initial state of acquisition, epistemology (the representation of knowledge of language), underlying processes such as cross-linguistic influence and directionality of transfer and related factors including language dominance and input properties in child-directed speech. A number of complex grammatical structures which are potential .vulnerable domains. likely to pose learning problems in the acquisition of Cantonese and English, including relative clauses and dative constructions, will be investigated in depth to ascertain the relationship between word order and processing effects in comprehension and production. Longitudinal and experimental studies will be carried out to investigate the phenomena concerned. (CU05692)



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