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Bilingual toddlers have advanced abilities to repair communication failure


Wermelinger, Stephanie; Gampe, Anja; Daum, Moritz M (2017). Bilingual toddlers have advanced abilities to repair communication failure. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 155:84-94.

Abstract

Recent research has demonstrated enhanced communicative abilities in bilingual children compared with monolingual children throughout childhood and in a variety of domains. The processes underlying these advantages are, however, not well understood. It has been suggested that one aspect that particularly stimulates bilinguals' communication skills is their daily experience with challenging communication. In the current study, we investigated whether children's assumed experience with communication failures would increase their skills when it came to repairing communication failure. Non-German bilingual, German bilingual, and monolingual 2.5-year-old toddlers participated in a communication task in which a misunderstanding occurred. We hypothesized that monolingual and German bilingual children would have fewer daily communication failures-and, therefore, less well-trained repair skills-compared with non-German bilinguals. The results showed that non-German bilinguals were more likely to repair the misunderstanding compared with both monolingual children and German bilingual children. The current findings support the view that the communicative advantages of bilingual individuals develop based on their unique experience with interpersonal communication and its difficulties.

Abstract

Recent research has demonstrated enhanced communicative abilities in bilingual children compared with monolingual children throughout childhood and in a variety of domains. The processes underlying these advantages are, however, not well understood. It has been suggested that one aspect that particularly stimulates bilinguals' communication skills is their daily experience with challenging communication. In the current study, we investigated whether children's assumed experience with communication failures would increase their skills when it came to repairing communication failure. Non-German bilingual, German bilingual, and monolingual 2.5-year-old toddlers participated in a communication task in which a misunderstanding occurred. We hypothesized that monolingual and German bilingual children would have fewer daily communication failures-and, therefore, less well-trained repair skills-compared with non-German bilinguals. The results showed that non-German bilinguals were more likely to repair the misunderstanding compared with both monolingual children and German bilingual children. The current findings support the view that the communicative advantages of bilingual individuals develop based on their unique experience with interpersonal communication and its difficulties.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords:DoktoratPsych Erstautor
Language:English
Date:March 2017
Deposited On:30 Jan 2017 14:51
Last Modified:26 Feb 2017 08:27
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0022-0965
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jecp.2016.11.005
PubMed ID:27923153

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