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Selected Development Project
Project Title

Lexical Selection in Young Trilingual Speakers

Principal Investigator Dr WONG Kwok Shing Richard
Area of Research Project
Language Education, Literature and Linguistics
Project Period
From 01/2017 To 12/2018
  1. To examine the extent to which language proficiency affects lexical selection in trilingual children;
  2. To evaluate the extent to which LS is affected by language distance.
Methods Used

Using a quantitative approach, this research will involve administrating to our participants a lexical selection task and language proficiency tests in Cantonese, English and Putonghua, as well as memory, non-verbal intelligence and inhibition tasks. This design will allow us to investigate within the same group of participants sharing similar cultural backgrounds the extent to which language proficiency interacts with language distance during lexical selection.

Summary of Findings
In terms of significance, the work will inform models of Lexical Selection generally. In addition, local education authorities who have responsibilities for promoting trilingualism and biliteracy will be assisted by the research. By being conversant with the range of and variations in proficiencies across the languages of Cantonese, English and Putonghua at two particularly important stages of development (end of the preschool education and middle of primary education) curriculum and pedagogy can be informed and altered accordingly. Teachers committed to reducing gaps in language proficiency may benefit from the work.
Selected Output
Biography of Principal Investigator

Dr Wong Kwok Shing Richard is an Assistant Professor of Department of Early Childhood Education at The Education University of Hong Kong. His research interests lie in first and second language acquisition and first and second language education.

Funding Source

General Research Fund