Crosslinguistic inﬂuence on phonological awareness
for Korean–English bilingual children
Published online: 19 June 2008
© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008
Abstract This study examined (1) the potential inﬂuence of oral language char-
acteristics of two languages that bilingual children acquire on their PA and (2) the
relationship of PA in L1 with PA and literacy skills in L2, using data from Korean–
English bilingual children. Thirty three Korean–English bilingual children, com-
posed of two subsamples from two different locations/bilingual programs,
participated in the study. The ﬁndings showed that the sample of bilingual children
from two bilingual programs differed in their mean performances on intrasyllabic
phonological awareness in Korean (i.e., rime awareness and body awareness).
Furthermore, children’s Korean rime awareness, but not body awareness, was
positively related to their phonological awareness and literacy skills in English.
Finally, these children’s phonological awareness in Korean made a positive con-
tribution to English decoding skills even after controlling for their English sight
word reading skills. The results are discussed in light of interlingual inﬂuence on
bilingual children’s phonological awareness.
Keywords Bilingual · Interlingual inﬂuence · Korean–English · Literacy ·
Phonological awareness transfer
Reading achievement is the foundational skill for students’ academic success.
However, reading acquisition is challenging for many students and many language
minority students are particularly vulnerable to the challenges. Despite the existence
of bilingual programs predicated on the assumption that native language skills
transfer to the acquisition of second languages (i.e., the linguistic interdependence
Y.-S. Kim (&)
Florida State University and Florida Center for Reading Research, Tallahassee, FL, USA
Read Writ (2009) 22:843–861