Patterns and predictors of code-switching in Singapore preschoolers: A corpus-based study

Dandan WU, Liman CAI, Luyao LIANG, Hui LI

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

This study explored the patterns and predictors of code-switching (CS) in Singapore preschoolers by analyzing the data elicited from an existing early childhood corpus. Altogether 943 cases of CS produced by 111 children aged 2;6, 3;6, 4;6, 5;6, respectively, were analyzed. The results indicated that: (1) ‘insertion’, ‘intersentential’, and ‘backflagging’ were identified as the most common types of CS, whereas‘alternation’ was rarely found; (2) there was a significant age-related increase in the production repertoire, the occurrence rate, the number of children producing CS, the frequency, and the type of CS, and age was confirmed the significant predictor; (3) children from the families with at least one bilingual parent produced the most CS, whereas those from the families without any bilingual parents produced the least; (4) parental bilingualism attitude, storytelling, and singing activities negatively predicted the CS frequency and type, whereas parental language input patterns positively predicted the frequency; and (5) children from the families with parents believing that bilingual education should start from kindergarten years (Ages 3-6) had the highest frequency of CS. These findings have added empirical evidence about CS in a multilingual Asian society and highlighted the impact of parent bilingual input patterns on CS in early childhood. Copyright © 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism
Early online date10 Nov 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Nov 2021

Citation

Wu, D., Cai, L., Liang, L., & Li, H. (2021). Patterns and predictors of code-switching in Singapore preschoolers: A corpus-based study. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/13670050.2021.1997903

Keywords

  • Code-switching
  • Parental language input patterns
  • Early bilingualism
  • Singapore preschoolers

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