Date of Award

Fall 1983

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Leslie, Lauren

Second Advisor

Bardwell, Rebecca

Third Advisor

McClain, Lucinda


It was the purpose of this research to analyze the naming rate of three groups of bilingual children (Spanish-dominant, balanced bilinguals, English-dominant) and one group of monolingual English children on picture and number stimuli. Speed of response and error rate were analyzed. The 58 subjects ranged in age from four to seven and in grades from four-year-old kindergarten to first. All bilingual subjects were enrolled in a bilingual transitional program with monolingual subjects enrolled in regular education classes in the same school. All subjects were identified as average students of middle to low socioeconomic status. The stimuli were 50 pictures of common objects and two sets of five numbers (Set 1 was numbers 1 to 5; Set 2 was five numbers chosen from 1 to 10). The stimuli were projected on a screen, and the child had to name what he or she saw as quickly as possible. A voice-activated relay was used in order to obtain accurate time measurements. Bilingual children were tested on all stimuli twice, once in each language. Half the bilingual children were made to switch to their other language once in each test session; the other half were tested in only one language per session. For English responses to picture and number stimuli, the only significant differences found were between the English monolinguals and the Spanish-dominant bilinguals. For bilingual responses to picture stimuli, both English-dominant and balanced bilinguals performed as predicted. None of the planned comparisons for bilingual responses to number stimuli generated significant differences. No significant difference in response rate was found for children required to switch languages in a test session. Switching did not interact with other factors. Implications for future research, testing, and education were discussed.



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