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Bilingualism and Development of Social Competence of English Language Learners: A Review
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Bilingualism and Development of Social Competence of English Language Learners: A Review
Ren, Yonggang; Wyver, Shirley;
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To help define future research direction and enhance educational service for children from Asian and Latino immigrant backgrounds, this review examines research investigating social competence with reference to host and heritage language skills. A targeted search obtained 14 peer-reviewed studies published from 1994 to 2014 focusing on children aged from birth to 12 years. Social competence is mainly measured by four dimensions: externalizing behaviours, internalizing behaviours, social skills and relationships with others. The evidence suggests that English proficiency levels are positively associated with social skills and parent-child relationships are of higher quality when parent-child heritage language difference is minimal. However the findings are mixed regarding how English levels are associated with externalizing, internalizing behaviours and relationships with others and how heritage language levels are associated with social competence. This review makes a set of recommendations for future research including assessment of participants` language proficiency with language tests and examination of emotional factors in the relationship between English and social competence. The implications of the findings are also discussed for educators.
immigrant children;social competence;English;heritage languages;
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