Chinese and English referential skill in Taiwanese children’s spoken narratives

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This study aims to examine Chinese and English referential strategies in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners in Taiwan. Thirty sixth-grade children with three or four years of English instruction participated in this study. They were asked to narrate a wordless picture book in Chinese and English respectively. All references to the main animate characters in the stories were coded for the use of form and discourse contexts, i.e., introduction, maintenance and switching. Main results show that the children had difficulties in making appropriate referential choices in producing English narratives, especially in the context of referent introduction, which suggests that Chinese children might carry over their first language knowledge into the choice of English referential strategies. Educational implications and suggestions for the future research were discussed.


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