The early acquisition of English as a second language

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One aspect of English in Europe today, particularly in Britain, is the fact that many children with an L1 that is not English acquire English outside the home at a very early age. This paper focuses on the acquisition of English by young Chinese children who were born in China but moved to Britain at around one year of age. As such this paper addresses the underexplored area of early acquisition of a second language prior to age three. The analyses focus on lexical acquisition, the use of code-switching and early grammatical learning of English. The results are discussed in relation to a number of hotly debated issues in the literature on bilingual first and early second language acquisition.


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