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Family learning environment and early literacy: A comparison of bilingual and monolingual children

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  • Feng, Li
  • Gai, Yunwei
  • Chen, Xiaoning

Abstract

Early research on literacy development usually focuses on children in preschool or kindergarten. Few studies have examined the early literacy of bilingual children. This study examines its relationship with different family learning environments (e.g. book availability), and family learning activities (e.g. reading books, telling stories, and singing songs) of bilingual and monolingual children from 9 months of age to kindergarten entry. The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort was used as the analysis sample. We included 1300 bilingual children and 5150 English monolingual children. We uncover that bilingual children generally lag behind in both resources and frequency of family learning activities. Using various decomposition techniques, we show that early reading score differences between bilingual and monolingual children can be explained by differences in resources and early family learning environments.

Suggested Citation

  • Feng, Li & Gai, Yunwei & Chen, Xiaoning, 2014. "Family learning environment and early literacy: A comparison of bilingual and monolingual children," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 110-130.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:39:y:2014:i:c:p:110-130
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2013.12.005
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Christian Dustmann & Arthur van Soest, 2001. "Language Fluency And Earnings: Estimation With Misclassified Language Indicators," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(4), pages 663-674, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Chiswick, Barry R. & Gindelsky, Marina, 2014. "Determinants of Bilingualism among Children," IZA Discussion Papers 8488, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Barry R. Chiswick & Marina Gindelsky, 2016. "Determinants of bilingualism among children: an econometric analysis," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 489-506, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Human capital; Demand for schooling; Educational economics; Reading score; Bilingual children; Book reading; Oaxaca decomposition; Access to books;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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