Becky Huang, The Ohio State University
Due to globalization and immigration trends, the number of children growing up learning more than one language has been growing rapidly around the world. These young multilingual learners may learn an additional language in a majority/societal language immersion context (e.g., learning English in the United States where English is a societal language) or in a minority/foreign language instructed learning context (e.g., learning English in Taiwan or in Mexico where English is a foreign language). The increase in this population comes with the parallel need to study their second language (L2) production for a fundamental understanding of L2 development. Evaluation of L2 production is also conducted to make education decisions, such as young learners’ eligibility to receive or exit L2 service programs, and/ or to meet the needs of stakeholders such as the government or parents.
In this talk, I will focus on the 6-12 age group (i.e., Kindergarten to elementary grades in the U.S. education system) because it’s a critical stage of development in language as well as cognitive and social-emotional domains. I will first provide an overview of the two major categories of L2 production methods in the literature: standardized norm-referenced assessments and language sampling methods. I will then address the challenges and considerations of evaluating young multilingual learners. I will end the talk with a discussion of the implications for education as well as future directions for L2 production methods.