Development of Oral Syntax Comprehension Ability in Taiwanese Preschoolers
Study 1 analyzed the oral syntax comprehension performance of preschoolers in Taitung, Taiwan, by using oral syntax comprehension tests. The primary findings were as follows: The children easily understood the meaning of lexical categories in Chinese syntax but had trouble understanding the phrase-structure rules and sentence lexical categories in terms of linear word order. The results of Study 1 were used to revise the oral syntax comprehension test items for Study 2. Study 2 investigated the development of syntax comprehension ability in Taiwanese preschoolers by using an oral syntax language test, which contained 45 items. All the items were individually administered to 167 native-Mandarin-speaking children from public preschools in Taipei City, New Taipei City, Miaoli County, Kaohsiung City, and Taitung County. Participants were aged between 51 and 77 months. Item analysis revealed that the difficulty and discrimination of the test was moderate. The tests also had acceptable validity and stable reliability. The results indicated that, concerning word linguistic content, 4-year-old children were able to distinguish between the size of the difference, the number of comparisons, all elements and their parts, and classifier constructions. Regarding syntactic structure knowledge, significant differences were observed between the 4-year-old group and the 6-year-old group for juxtaposition, transition, and hypothetical complex sentences. Knowledge of time adverbs and the ability to form progressive complex sentences were insufficiently developed in 30% of the 4-year-old children. Several significant differences were observed in oral language ability in terms of age, sex, and socioeconomic status. Regression analysis results supported the discourse of accepted vocabulary, Chinese verbal working memory ability, and semantic grammar. This paper discusses the current findings and provides relevant recommendations.
|關鍵詞||口語理解、社經地位、背景變項、語法結構、oral comprehension、social economic status、background variable、syntax structure|