Drawing on structural sensitivity theory, the current study investigated monolingual and bilingual children's ability to learn how phonemes combine to form acceptable syllables in a new language. A total of 186 monolingual and bilingual kindergarteners, first graders, and second graders in Taiwan participated in the study. Bilingual children, regardless of whether they actively used a second language at home or simply had exposure to it, showed an advantage over their monolingual peers in learning the phonological patterns in the new language. The study provides empirical support for structural sensitivity theory and calls for the need to reconceptualize the effects of early bilingualism.
- Statistical learning
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology