Relationship between language dominance and information processing

Siu-Chou Catherine Li, Fordham University

Abstract

This study investigated the relationship between language dominance or degree of bilingualism and the ways in which information was processed by Chinese-American students. Chinese-American students who possessed varying degrees of bilingualism were recruited from 4th-, 5th-, and 6th-grade classes. Eleven Fast Chinese-Slow English, 15 Fast Chinese-Fast English, and 10 Slow Chinese-Fast English students were selected to participate in the study based on their Chinese and English median reaction times on a picture naming test. The Kaufman Assessment Battery For Children was used to identify their preferred mode of information processing. The results indicate that language dominance or degree of bilingualism appeared to have no effect on the mode of processing. No significant difference in processing was found among the three groups. Only marginal differences were found indicating that Fast Chinese-Slow English students tended to prefer simultaneous processing more often in problem solving. Subsequent data analysis indicated that cognitive ability also had no effect on the mode of processing. Although significant differences in cognitive ability were found between the Fast Chinese-Slow English and the Fast Chinese-Fast English students, no differences in the mode of processing were found between those who scored above or below the Mental Processing Composite group mean. Lastly, comparable nonverbal skills and similar patterns of strengths and weaknesses were also found among the three groups. Although there was a difference in significant weakness on Number Recall which indicated that Fast Chinese-Slow English students did poorer than the Fast Chinese-Fast English students, the differences in performance appeared to be due to the differences in the students' English proficiency rather than sequential processing ability. ^

Subject Area

Education, Bilingual and Multicultural|Psychology, Cognitive

Recommended Citation

Li, Siu-Chou Catherine, "Relationship between language dominance and information processing" (1997). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9808993.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI9808993

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