Browsing by Subject "PAULA-tutkimushanke"

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  • Airaksinen, Aino (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    In recent years the number of people from foreign backgrounds in Finland has increased considerably. Consequently, more and more children who are learning Finnish as their second language are met in Finnish day-care centers and schools. In order to attain adequate language proficiency before school-age, early support for sequential multilingual children’s L2 acquisition has been considered important. There have been some promising results from research concerning small-group interventions that have aimed to promote the L2 acquisition of children below school age. Nevertheless, further research is needed. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of a small-group intervention on the expressive vocabulary development of children learning Finnish as their second language. Both single word naming skills and lexical diversity were examined. Lexical diversity was examined separately for the whole lexicon and for verbs. This study used the data from the PAULA research project. The sample of this study consisted of 32 sequential multilingual 4-year-old children. Half of the children (n=16) belonged to a study group and the other half (n=16) to a control group. The children’s Finnish language skills were assessed three times within a year (at pre- and post-intervention and at follow-up). Between the pre- and post-intervention assessments the study group participated in a small-group intervention (PAULA-intervention) for six months. The control group attended Finnish daycare but did not receive the intervention. The follow-up assessment was performed four months post-intervention. The ability to name single words was assessed in a picture naming task and in two short play situations with an examiner. Lexical diversity was examined by calculating the number of different words and Guiraud’s indexes in spontaneous speech data consisting of a play situation and a story-telling task. The differences between the study and control groups’ vocabulary development were analyzed by using repeated-measures variance analysis. The results showed that the children’s ability to name single words and their lexical diversity in spontaneous speech increased in both groups during the follow-up period. However, a statistically significant difference between groups appeared only for single word naming; vocabulary growth was faster in the study group between pre- and post-intervention assessments. Together with earlier studies from the PAULA research project, this study gives preliminary evidence about the efficacy of the PAULA-intervention. Although the inter-group differences have been relatively small, the results encourage continued implementation of the PAULA-intervention or other small-group interventions in day-care centers to enhance sequential multilingual children’s second language acquisition.
  • Salmi, Hanna-Kaisa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    During the past decade Finland has become an increasingly multilingual country, and the need for understanding bilingual development of children has grown. The purpose of this study is to analyze conversational self-repair used by sequential bilinguals. Examining children´s self-repairs provide information of their ability to monitor conversation and the development of their language skills. The aim is to investigate how 4-to-5-year-old children who adopt Finnish as their second language use self-repair to solve problems in speaking and to create mutual understanding. The repairs that are self-initiated or other-initiated by the adults are taken into account. The focus is to investigate how the self-repair is initiated, in which part of the repair sequence the correction takes place, and what is repaired. The data of this study is taken from the PAULA research project, which aims to investigate the impact of small group activities on supporting the language learning of children who acquire Finnish as their second language. The data was recollected in 2018 in a city that is located in southern Finland. The subjects of study (N=7) were between 4;11 and 5;7 years old. They were normally developed sequential bilinguals who participated in the small group sessions that took place in their daycares. The material (1h 49 min) consisted of video recordings of two different types of tasks, a fishing game and grocery store play. The video data was transcribed and analyzed by the means of conversational analysis. The results show that children who adopt Finnish as their second language initiate repairs in many lexical (e.g. repetitions, adding and changing words) and non-lexical ways (e.g. cut-off or non-verbally). Other-initiated repair sequences was pointed out by questions (e.g. what, which, or why), giving semantic or phonological cues and making direct corrections. The results shows that the self-repair was preferred. Most of the children´s self-repairs took place in the same turn with the problem and in the third position. However, some of the repair sequencies formed much more complex patterns. The self-repair was used to correct vocabulary, semantics, and the situation. In addition, nonverbal means became central both in marking the need for repair and using it as a repair. Nonverbal repairs were used for example to replace missing vocabulary, to create common understanding of the situation, or to guide the interpretation of the words and meanings. The results encourage to monitor children’s ability to repair their speech in verbal or nonverbal manner to support the speech and language skills that they are acquiring.