Volume 28, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0155-0640
  • E-ISSN: 1833-7139
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


Bilinguals sometimes report on difficulties in finding words while speaking in the first language (L1) or the second language (L2), which is frequently attributed to the negative influence of one language onto the other. This paper addresses this issue by investigating the relationship between L1 and L2 vocabulary knowledge of Korean-English bilinguals who have been exposed to an L2 learning environment since the age of 12 years. Their vocabulary knowledge in L1 and L2 is measured by using a standardised vocabulary test in each language and their L1 vocabulary measures are compared with that of 12 year old Korean monolinguals. The findings show that there is a significant positive correlation between the scores from the L1 and L2 vocabulary tests among the participants. The findings suggest (1) that L1 vocabulary learning continues in the L2 learning environment, and (2) that the extent of the vocabulary knowledge in one language is the good predictor of the other, highlighting the positive role of L1 vocabulary knowledge in L2 learning. Implications for the support for L1 development of young immigrants are also discussed.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Andersen, R. W.
    (1982) Determining the linguistic attributes of language attrition. In R. D. Lambert & B. F. Freed (Eds.) The loss of language skills (pp.83–118). Rowley, MA: Newbury House.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Barker-Collo, S.
    (2001) Short report: The 60-item Boston Naming Test: cultural bias and possible adaptations for New Zealand. Aphasiology, 15(1), 85–92. doi: 10.1080/02687040042000124
    https://doi.org/10.1080/02687040042000124 [Google Scholar]
  3. Bell, A. , Davis, K. , & Starks, D.
    (2000) Language of the Manukau region: a pilot study of use, maintenance and educational dimensions of languages in South Auckland(A report to the Woolf Fisher Research Centre, The University of Auckland). Auckland: Manukau Institute of Technology & The University of Auckland.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Cummins, J.
    (1980) The entry and exit fallacy in bilingual education. NABE journal, 4, 25–60.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. (1981) The role of primary language development in promoting educational success for language minority students. In California State Department of Education (Ed.) Schooling and language minority children: a theoretical framework (pp.3–49). Los Angeles: California State Department of Education.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. (1984) Bilingualism and special education: issues in assessment and pedagogy. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Cook, V.
    (1999) Going beyond the native speaker in language teaching. TESOL Quarterly33(2), 185–209. doi: 10.2307/3587717
    https://doi.org/10.2307/3587717 [Google Scholar]
  8. de Bot, K.
    (1996) Language loss. In H. Goebl & P. H. Nelde (Eds.) Contact linguisticsVol.1 (pp.579–585). Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. (1999) The psycholinguistics of language loss. In G. Extra & L. Verhoeven (Eds.) Bilingualism and migration (pp.345–361). Berlin; New York: Mouton de Gruyter. doi: 10.1515/9783110807820.345
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110807820.345 [Google Scholar]
  10. Farmer, A.
    (1990) Performance of normal males on the Boston Naming Test and The Word Test. Aphasiology, 4, 293–296. doi: 10.1080/02687039008249081
    https://doi.org/10.1080/02687039008249081 [Google Scholar]
  11. Frederiksen, J. R.
    (1982) A componential theory of reading skills and their interactions. In R. J. Mislevy (Ed.) Advances in the psychology of human intelligenceVol.1 (pp.125–180). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Glaser, W. R.
    (1992) Picture naming. In W. J. M. Levelt (Ed.) Lexical process in speech production (pp.61–105). Amsterdam: Elsvier Science.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Goral, M.
    (2004) First-language decline in healthy aging: implications for attrition in bilingualism. Journal of Neurolinguistics, 17, 31–52. doi: 10.1016/S0911‑6044(03)00052‑6
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0911-6044(03)00052-6 [Google Scholar]
  14. Grabe, W.
    (1991) Current developments in second language reading research. TESOL Quarterly, 25, 375–406. doi: 10.2307/3586977
    https://doi.org/10.2307/3586977 [Google Scholar]
  15. Guilford, A. M. , & Nawojczyk, D. C.
    (1988) Standardization of the Boston Naming Test at the kindergarten and elementary school levels. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in the Schools, 19, 395–400. doi: 10.1044/0161‑1461.1904.395
    https://doi.org/10.1044/0161-1461.1904.395 [Google Scholar]
  16. Hakuta, K. , & D’Andrea, D.
    (1992) Some properties of bilingual maintenance and loss in Mexican background high-school students. Applied Linguistics, 13(1), 72–99. doi: 10.1093/applin/13.1.72
    https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/13.1.72 [Google Scholar]
  17. Hilleson, M.
    (1992) “I want to talk with them, but I don’t want them to hear”: an introspective study of second language anxiety in an English- medium school. In K. M. Bailey & D. Nunan (Eds.) Voices from the language classroom (pp.248–275). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Insurin, L.
    (1999) Mechanism of first language forgetting. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Louisiana State University.
  19. Jaspaert, K. , & Kroon, S.
    (1992) From the typewriter of A. L.In W. Fase , K. Jaspaert & S. Kroon (Eds.) Maintenance and loss of minority languages (pp.137–147). Amsterdam; Philadelphia: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/sibil.1.11jas
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sibil.1.11jas [Google Scholar]
  20. Jaspaert, K. , Kroon, S. , & van Hout, R.
    (1986) Points of reference in first-language loss research. In B. Weltens , K. de Bot & T. van Els (Eds.) Language attrition in progress (pp.37–49). Dodrecht, The Netherlands: Foris Publications.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Kaplan, E. , Goodglass, H. , & Weintraub, S.
    (2001) Boston Naming Test (2nd ed.). Baltimore, Maryland: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Kim, H. , & Na, D. L.
    (1997) Korean Version Boston Naming Test. Seoul: Hakjisa.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Kohnert, K. J. , Hernandez, A. E. , & Bates, E.
    (1998) Bilingual performance on the Boston Naming Test: preliminary norms in Spanish and English. Brain and Language, 65, 422–440. doi: 10.1006/brln.1998.2001
    https://doi.org/10.1006/brln.1998.2001 [Google Scholar]
  24. Köpke, B.
    (2004) Neurolinguistic aspects of attrition. Journal of Neurol inguis-tics, 17, 3–30. doi: 10.1016/S0911‑6044(03)00051‑4
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0911-6044(03)00051-4 [Google Scholar]
  25. Laufer, B. , & Nation, P.
    (1999) A vocabulary-size test of controlled productive ability. Language Testing, 16(1), 33–51. doi: 10.1177/026553229901600103
    https://doi.org/10.1177/026553229901600103 [Google Scholar]
  26. May, S. , Hill, R. , & Tiakiwai, S.
    (2004) Bilingual/immersion education: indicators of good practice (Final Report tothe Ministry of Education). Hamilton, New Zealand: University of Waikato, School of Education, Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Miller, R. , R., Acton , C, Fullerton , D., A. , & Maltby, J.
    (2002) SPSS for social scientists. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Nicholas, L. E. , Brookshire, R. H. , MacLennan, D. L. , Schumacher, J. G. , & Parrazzo, S. A.
    (1989) Revised administration and scoring procedures for the Boston Naming Test and norms for non-brain-damaged adults. Aphasiol-ogy, 3, 569–80. doi: 10.1080/02687038908249023
    https://doi.org/10.1080/02687038908249023 [Google Scholar]
  29. Olshtain, E. , & Barzilay, M.
    (1991) Lexical retrieval difficulties in adult language attrition. In H. W. Seliger & R. M. Vago (Eds.) First language attrition (pp.139–150). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511620720.010
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511620720.010 [Google Scholar]
  30. Read, J. , & Chapelle, C. A.
    (2001) A framework for second language vocabulary assessment. Language Testing, 18(1), 1–32. doi: 10.1177/026553220101800101
    https://doi.org/10.1177/026553220101800101 [Google Scholar]
  31. Roberts, P. M. , Garcia, L. J. , Desrochers, A. , & Hernandez, D.
    (2002) English performance of proficient bilingual adults on the Boston Naming Test. Apha-siology, 16(4/5/6), 635–45.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Sohn, H.-M.
    (1999) The Korean language. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Tombaugh, T. N. , & Hubley, A.
    (1997) The 60-item Boston Naming Test: norms for cognitively intact adults ages 25 to 88 years. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 19, 922–932. doi: 10.1080/01688639708403773
    https://doi.org/10.1080/01688639708403773 [Google Scholar]
  34. Waas, M.
    (1996) Language attrition downunder: German speakers in Australia. New York: Peter Lang.
    [Google Scholar]
  • Article Type: Research Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error