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.
|Title of host publication||Cantonese as a second language: Issues, experiences and suggestions for teaching and learning|
|Editors||John C. WAKEFIELD|
|Place of Publication||Oxon|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 2019|