Article published in:ITL - International Journal of Applied Linguistics
Vol. 119/120 (1998) ► pp. 79–89
Linguistic Minority Children's Knowledge of multiple Word Meanings; Polysemy and the Testing of lexical Skills
It is often observed that minority children's lexical proficiency in the majority language lags behind that of majority children. This observations is substantiated by scores on vocabulary tests. However, in these (traditional) tests words are generally treated as having one meaning, while most words are polysemous, i.e. they have multiple meanings. A new test was designed to measure the knowledge of multiple word meanings of minority and majority children. Results pointed to a rather high correlation between the scores on a traditional vocabulary test and the newly developed test for the minority children. Furthermore, the minority children scored lower on the new test than the majority children, which suggests that they not only have a lexical deficit in their second language with respect to the number of words known, but also with respect to the number of meanings attached to each word.
Published online: 01 January 1998
BOOGAARD, M., DAMHUIS, R., DE GLOPPER, K. & VAN DEN BERGH, H.
CARAMAZZA, A. & GROBER, E.
DOLCH, E.W. & LEEDS, D.
DURKIN, K., CROWTHER, R., SHIRE, B., RIEM, R. & NASH, P.R.G.
MASON, J.M., KNISELEY, E. & KENDALL, J.
VERHOEVEN, L. & VERMEER, A.