Features of the Construction of Children Narratives in a Bilingual Environment

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Abstract

The article examines such an indicator of the development of language and culture as a child’s elicited narrative. A narrative is a story created by a child based on a picture story or a series of pictures. The narrative allows to evaluate the child’s coherent monologue speech. Narratives as primary forms of cultural texts reflect a certain national and cultural specifics. In the narrative, one can distinguish a macrostructure that determines its semantic completeness and adequacy, as well as a microstructure that assess lexical and grammatical accuracy. In our work, we studied the narratives of children from Moscow, the Republic of Sakha - Yakutia (Yakutsk and uluses) and the Republic of Tatarstan (Kazan). In addition, children performed a number of psychological tests, which made it possible to assess their level of development of executive functions and non-verbal intelligence. The main objective of the study was to identify how the factor of bilingualism influences the construction of the narrative and what other factors also influence. The study involved 765 children, including 327 boys and 438 girls ( M = 77.89 months, SD = 5.22). All children attended senior groups of kindergartens in Moscow ( n = 495), Kazan ( n = 115), the Republic of Sakha-Yakutia (Yakutsk and uluses) ( n = 155). As a result of a survey of educators and a short language test, the sample was divided into two groups: bilinguals ( n = 179 people) who communicate equally in Russian and national languages; and monolinguals (586 people) who communicate mainly or only in Russian. The results of statistical processing of the material showed that bilingualism is an important factor affecting the microstructure of narratives, however, to the greatest extent, both micro and macrostructure depend on auditory-verbal working memory. This is supported by both correlations and general linear models.

About the authors

Ekaterina Sergeevna Oshepkova

Institute of Linguistics of RAS

Author for correspondence.
Email: oshchepkova_es@iling-ran.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6199-4649

Doctor of Philology, Senior Researcher

1/1, bldg. 28, B. Kislovsky, Moscow, 125009, Russian Federation

Natalia Alexandrovna Kartushina

University of Oslo

Email: natalia.kartushina@psykologi.uio.no
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4650-5832

Doctor of Philology, Senior Researcher of the Department of Psychology

3 A, Forskningsveien, Oslo, 0317, Norway

Arina Nikolayevna Shatskaya

Moscow State University

Email: arina.shatskaya@mail.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7283-8011

Junior Researcher of the Department of Psychology

11, bldg. 9, Mokhovaya str., Moscow, 125009, Russian Federation

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Copyright (c) 2022 Oshepkova E.S., Kartushina N.A., Shatskaya A.N.

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