Reference : Development of persuasive speech in emergent bilingual siblings
Scientific congresses, symposiums and conference proceedings : Unpublished conference
Arts & humanities : Languages & linguistics
Development of persuasive speech in emergent bilingual siblings
Kirsch, Claudine mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Languages, Culture, Media and Identities (LCMI) >]
Conference on Urban Multilingualism and Education
from 6.3 to 8.3.2013
University of Ghent
[en] persuasive speech ; bilingualism ; early childhood
[en] Strategies of persuasion are an integral element in everyday conversation, yet they have been little researched in young children. The few existing studies have shown that three to six year olds use a wide variety of strategies such as requesting, challenging, reasoning, commanding, protesting, explaining, affirming, and promising or threatening (Bartsch, Wright & Estes, 2010; Trawick-Smith, 1992; Weiss & Sachs, 1991). Among the few developmental changes that have been reported are an increase in the number and range of strategies, in the use of listener-adapted strategies, and in the number of positive strategies (Bartsch, Wright and Estes 2010, Kline & Clinton 1998, Nippold 1994). There is currently no research on persuasive strategies in young bilingual children.

The present study investigates early persuasive language practices of two bilingual boys aged three and five. At the start of the study the brothers, then aged two and four, spoke English and understood Luxembourgish. Following a move to trilingual Luxembourg they learned to speak Luxembourgish and became active bilinguals.

Data collection comprised weekly audio and video-recordings over a period of 10 months. The analysis focused on the children’s strategies in various languages and settings, on changes over time and on the reasons behind the changes. The findings show that the three-year old used few persuasive strategies, principally requesting, affirming and protesting. The five-year old used a greater number and a wider range of persuasive strategies. For example, he employed some higher-order strategies such as explaining and questioning, which testify to his more developed language skills, social awareness and reasoning ability. Over the period of the data collection the number of non-verbal strategies in both children decreased and the length and the complexity of their utterances in both English and Luxembourgish (and even in French) increased.
Researchers ; Professionals

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