The project investigates the development of language skills and world knowledge in Polish-Norwegian multilingual children and their monolingual peers in Poland and Norway.
The project will investigate the relationship between children's language skills, world knowledge and the linguistic, cultural and educational environment in which they grow up. We follow multilingual Polish-Norwegian children and majority speaking Norwegian and Polish children aged 2-6 years through four subprojects.
In the first sub-project, the children's language development is mapped using Polish and Norwegian versions of the MacArthur-Bates CDI questionnaire and the CLT vocabulary test. We will follow a group of children longitudinally to investigate both linguistic development and change in language dominance over time. The project will also result in monolingual and multilingual norms for both tools.
The aim of the second subproject is to compare word processing in monolingual and multilingual children. Using EEG, we will study the brain activity of two-year-olds who get to see pictures and hear words that fit or do not fit together. A year later, we will investigate whether the results from the experiment can predict their language development.
There are cultural differences in the view of nature between Norwegian and Polish parents and between Norwegian and Polish kindergartens. In the third subproject, we follow children longitudinally to see how closely knowledge of the world is connected to the development of language, and what the relationship to nature has to say for language skills and world knowledge. By studying majority speaking children in Poland and Norway and children of Polish immigrants in Norway, we hope to be able to say something about the role of the family on the one hand and kindergarten on the other in the development of children's knowledge and vocabulary about nature.
The fourth subproject is an intervention study. Children's language development starts even before birth, and we think that parents' attitudes towards and knowledge of how to create a good language environment play a major role in children's language development. In this study, we will recruit expectant Polish parents living in Norway. Half of the parents are invited to a course on child development in general. The other half is invited to a course on children's language development and how they can interact with and talk to their baby. This way, we can find out more about the relation between multilingual parents’ attitudes towards and knowledge about language and children’s language development.