Morphological awareness of connective endings in 1st through 4th grade children from culturally diverse families in Korea

Morphological awareness of connective endings in 1st through 4th grade children from culturally diverse families in Korea

First Author: Bhu Ja Chung -- Chosun University, Department of Speech-Language Pathology
Additional authors/chairs: 
Seouong Eun Shim
Keywords: Morphological Awareness, Language impairment, Multicultural
Abstract / Summary: 

Culturally diverse family in Korea refers to a family consisting of a married Korean citizen and a foreign spouse. Despite rapid increase of the culturally diverse families and acknowledgement of the limited linguistic stimuli for children in those populations, few studies have demonstrated proper research evidence for evaluation and intervention in various language-related areas. Morphological awareness has been recognized as a critical metalinguistic skill relevant to vocabulary acquisition and literacy development. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relation of linguistic competence to morphological awareness of connective endings, one of the unique bound morphemes in Korean, in school-aged Korean-speaking children. The participants were 38 lower grade children(first and second grade) and 40 upper grade children(third and fourth grade) from three groups: typical children from non-culturally diverse families(TND), typical children from culturally diverse families(TCD) which are language-matched with TND, and language impaired children from culturally diverse families(LCD). Morphological awareness was measured with a cloze test consisted of 65 sentences that had fair content validity and inter-rater reliability. The results showed that the significant difference of morphological awareness appeared between TCD and TND in lower grade, but was not found in upper grade. LCD, however, consistently performed less than TND on morphological awareness test in both grade levels. Although positive growth in morphological awareness across grades appeared in each three groups, LCD remained far below TCD and TND. The study findings revealed that cultural background made a contribution to morphological awareness during initial period of school years, but longitudinal associations between morphological awareness and linguistic competence have lasted even longer through late school years. The need of explicit instructions of morphological elements were highlighted.