Page 32 - Second language development of newly arrived migrant kindergarteners - Frederike Groothoff
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32 Chapter 2 2.1 Introduction The focus of this dissertation is the influence of the school setting and pedagogical practices on the second language development of newly arrived migrant kindergarteners, aged 4 to 6. There have been previous studies of the language development of newly arrived migrant pupils, but these studies were mostly cross-sectional and often with older children, or children with a longer exposure to the new second language than newly arrived migrant pupils. In this dissertation pupils in the age range of 4 to 6 and with various language backgrounds were assessed during two-and-a-half years starting within the first six months after having arrived in the Netherlands. Before describing the second language development of these pupils in Chapters 4 to 8, this present chapter will discuss relevant theories concerning second language development of newly arrived migrant pupils and the factors that might influence this. Most theories that will be presented in this chapter reflect an interdisciplinary approach, with some coming from a more linguistic perspective while others representing a more educational and pedagogical perspective. The literature that will be reviewed emphasizes the view that it is more informative to approach language development from multiple angles in order to obtain a complete picture. In the present study, when both child characteristics as well as characteristics of the school learning environment are taken into consideration, the language development of newly arrived migrant kindergarteners can be evaluated more thoroughly. Also, as the literature will show, language development itself should be investigated with different measures at different levels to obtain a more complete image of the language development and influencing factors. This theoretical chapter starts with the presentation of two overarching theoretical frameworks. Section 2.2 concerns ecological linguistics and Section 2.3 communicative competence. These two frameworks set the context for this dissertation as a whole and they introduce some methodological considerations for this study, which will be elaborated upon in Chapter 3. The chapter continues with theories about second language learning. First, in Section 2.4 the difference between different types of second language learners will be discussed. Then the stages in second language learning will be introduced briefly. Then it continues with the topics of language learning and individual differences in language learning. Section 2.5 concerns receptive vocabulary and Section 2.6 narrative ability, the two language components central to this study. Section 2.7 is about the relation between the educational setting and social and cognitive outcomes. 2.2 Ecological linguistics in education There are multiple factors contributing to second language development. There are factors directly from the child, such as age and linguistic background, but also factors from the 

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