The effect of age of arrival to the development of Cantonese narrative in ethnic minority children of Hong Kong

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

This is a report on the late development of Cantonese narrative skills in a sub-group of ethnic minority children of Hong Kong who are commonly called South Asians (SA hereafter). Eighty-nine SA children were examined with a standardized story-retelling test and they were tested twice, with 10 to 12 months in between. The results showed that these SA children performed far below age expectations at both time points, and most of them were at or below the performance level of native-Cantonese children at age 5.5 years. SA Children who were born in Hong Kong performed better than those who arrived at age 7 and older, but the performance of those who came to Hong Kong before age 6 was not much inferior to the local-born group. Of the various linguistic components that were measured by the story-retelling task, SA children performed better in introducing referents and they did poorer in using connectives for encoding causality and temporality between events. Comparing the linguistic requirements of these two components, the challenge that SA children faced was a combination of syntactic and discourse-related matters. Copyright © 2019 selection and editorial matter, John C. Wakefield; individual chapters, the contributors.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCantonese as a second language: Issues, experiences and suggestions for teaching and learning
EditorsJohn C. WAKEFIELD
Place of PublicationOxon
PublisherRoutledge
Pages232-250
ISBN (Electronic)9781351184250
ISBN (Print)9780815395195
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

Fingerprint

national minority
Hong Kong
narrative
linguistics
causality
performance
Group
event
discourse

Bibliographical note

Cheung, H. T. (2019). The effect of age of arrival to the development of Cantonese narrative in ethnic minority children of Hong Kong. In J. C. Wakefield (Ed.), Cantonese as a second language: Issues, experiences and suggestions for teaching and learning (pp. 232-250). Oxon: Routledge.