Vocabulary gap

University of Calgary Researcher Hettie Roessingh has received a grant to continue her research into the vocabulary gap among immigrant children. Funded by TELUS and the Alberta Centre for Child, Family and Community Research.

Roessingh’s research “indicates that younger arriving immigrant children perform less well academically than do older arriving immigrant children. Further, Canadian-born children of immigrants fare even worse in these tests, despite promising results in Grade 3 tests in literacy development.

“So what happens to these young learners? Roessingh’s research indicates that most lack the comparatively extensive range of vocabulary used by native English speaking children.

“The research shows that by age 5 or 6, most native English speaking children have a vocabulary of around 5,000 words. ELL children have significantly fewer English words”. (Source: UofC News Release, Nov 20/08).

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