We investigated whether children who were learning to read simultaneously in English and French activate phonological representations from only the language in which they are reading or from both of their languages. Children in French Immersion programs in Grade 3 were asked to name aloud cognates, interlingual homographs, interlingual homophones, and matched control words. Half of the participants performed the task in English, their first oral language, and half performed the task in French. Control monolingual children in each language were also tested. In the French reading task, fewer errors were observed for cognates and interlingual homophones than for matched control words, whereas more errors were produced for interlingual homographs than matched controls. Only the inhibitory interlingual homograph effect was observed in the English reading task. These data provide evidence that phonological activation in bilinguals is not language selective. The locus of each of these effects in the bilingual word recognition system is discussed.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: May 15, 2011
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