Title

Young Taiwanese children's language performance and anxiety as a function of parental beliefs and practices

Date of Award

6-2006

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Child and Family Studies

Advisor(s)

Robert P. Moreno

Keywords

Taiwanese, Children, Language performance, Anxiety, Parental beliefs, China

Subject Categories

Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Child Psychology | Family, Life Course, and Society | First and Second Language Acquisition

Abstract

A study of 160 families and their preschool-age children was undertaken to examine the role of parental beliefs and practices on children's language performances (English and Mandarin) and foreign language anxiety. The results indicated that parents' specific beliefs about early language learning were more predictive for children's language outcomes than parents' general beliefs about child development. Mothers' beliefs and practices were more predictive for children's performance in English than fathers' beliefs and practices. Specifically, mothers' beliefs about early English learning were associated with the length of children's English program and indirectly predicted children's English performance. In contrast, mothers' involvement in children's English activities directly predicted children's English performance and anxiety. The time children spent in English programs was a strong predictor for increased their English performance and decreased their anxiety but was not associated with their Mandarin performance.

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