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Published on October 20, 2008

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Korean-English Bilingual Children’s Morality, Humor, and Empathy in Writing : Korean-English Bilingual Children’s Morality, Humor, and Empathy in Writing Huai-Rhin Kim, M.A. Cynthia Johnson, Ph.D. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ASHA Convention Nov. 16, 2006 hkim22@uiuc.edu cjj@uiuc.edu Interview with a 4th Grader : Interview with a 4th Grader “I was a good writer in Korea and my teachers praised my writing. What do I think about writing in English? I hate it. Writing in English is boring and annoying. … I don’t know how to express my own ideas in English. Teachers in school do not understand my writing.” Introduction : Introduction A substantial gap in writing achievement for English-Language-Learning (ELL) students compared to their native English-speaking peers The gap appears to widen as the students get older (SAT, College Board, 2006; National Assessment of Educational Progress, NAEP, 2002; Prairie State Achievement Examination, given in the state of Illinois, 2001). On one test of writing, the gap begins at 28 points in 4th grade and expands to 41 points by 12th grade (NAEP, 2002). Introduction – Cont. : Introduction – Cont. Different ethnic groups have diverse narrative styles Cultural differences are influential in children’s narrative development (Anderson & Li, 2006; Fung, Miller, & Lin, 2004; Heath, 1983). “culturally-influenced (narrative) traits” Korean children’s “narrative abilities in English were heavily influenced by the culturally determined strategies in their native language. Thus the Koreans failed to represent the preferred discourse style of the target culture” (Kang, 2003, p. 145). Possible Culturally-Influenced Narrative Traits : Possible Culturally-Influenced Narrative Traits Codas including a lesson, moral, or reflection and internal state words have been a unit of analysis in narratives (Ukrainetz et al., 2005). Morals of stories and characters’ emotions have been evaluated in children’s narrative performance (Fey et al., 2004; Stein & Glenn, 1979; Ukrainetz et al., 2005). Humor is “a method of coping with difficult situations, and expressing both meaning and emotion” (Bergen, 1989, p. 18). Purpose of the Study : Purpose of the Study To investigate Korean-English children’s ability to incorporate morality, humor, and empathy into their writing in a natural writing setting, with story stimuli that allow for all three possible cultural influences. Morality -> morals of stories (codas) Empathy -> characters’ emotions (internal states) Research Question : Research Question How do Korean-English bilingual children include culturally influenced traits, namely morals of stories, humor, and characters’ emotions, in their Korean and English writing? Method : Method Participants 20 normally developing Korean-English bilingual children – 3rd through 5th grade 17 children were born in Korea, 3 were born in the U. S. Speak Korean at home, English at school Procedure : Procedure Writing Stimuli (2 wordless picture books) – each child wrote 2 stories, 1 story about each book; 1 in Korean, 1 in English Frog Goes to Dinner (Mayer, 2003) One Frog Too Many (Mayer, 1992) Book and language were counterbalanced Procedure – Cont. : Procedure – Cont. Children looked through each picture book, then wrote a story about it (with pictures present) 15-20 minutes of writing per story Children generated 1 to 2 pages of handwritten text per story. Frog Goes to Dinner (Mayer, 1974) : Frog Goes to Dinner (Mayer, 1974) Frog Goes to Dinner (Mayer, 1974) : Frog Goes to Dinner (Mayer, 1974) Other Measures : Other Measures Family Language Preference Questionnaire For use of Korean and English Language proficiency in Korean and English The Coding System : The Coding System Two panels of judges Korean panel – 3 native speakers of Korean English panel – 3 native speakers of English The 6 judges independently identified instances of morals, humor, and emotions in the books. 6 logs (combined) = potential instances of morals, humor, and emotions for coding in the children’s writing. Analysis of the Data : Analysis of the Data The first author coded all the writing samples for the 3 culturally influenced traits. 20 % of samples independently coded by a second coder Korean : 86 % agreement English : 87 % agreement Results and Discussion- Morals of Stories : Results and Discussion- Morals of Stories Moral statements were written significantly more often in Korean (M = 2.4 instances) than in English (M = 1.6 instances), t (19) = 4.00, p < .05 Large effect size (Cohen’s d = .8) Morals – Cont. : Morals – Cont. Example 1 “You shouldn’t bring the frog at restaurant” (translated from Korean). Previous studies: Morality is a strong value in Asian cultures (e.g., Fung, Miller, & Lin, 2004). Humor : Humor There was no significant difference in humorous content between Korean writing (M = 4.50 instances) and English writing (M = 5.20 instances), t(19) = -0.87, p > .05. Humor – Cont. : Humor – Cont. Example 2 “The frog jumped and dived in to the celerd (salad)” (written in English). Previous studies : The basic cognitive structure of humor appreciation is not “culture-bound”, but “universal” in nature (Alden, Hoyer, & Lee, 1993, p. 72) Emotions : Emotions Emotional statements were written significantly more often in English (M = 5.30 instances) than in Korean (M = 3.75 instances), t (19) = -2.40, p <.05. Moderate to large effect size (Cohen’s d = .7) Emotions – Cont. : Emotions – Cont. Example 3 “The boy was so sad because he couldn’t find his little frog” (translated from Korean). Previous studies: Western parents encourage children to express and show their emotions whereas non-western parents do not (Ratner, 2000). It is an important virtue to hide emotional feelings in Korea (Chu, 1978) Conclusions : Conclusions Morals of stories – more frequent in Korean Humor – both languages Characters’ emotions – more frequent in English Clinical Implications : Clinical Implications Assessment Positive implications for SLPs who want to serve bilingual children – knowing clients’ culture provides a proper framework when assessing their language ability. Storybooks with a moral theme – in Korean Storybooks with humorous content – in Korean and English Clinical Implications (cont.) : Clinical Implications (cont.) Intervention Building vocabulary in English for expressing emotions. Acknowledgments : Acknowledgments I appreciate the help of the children and their families who participated in this study. I also appreciate the help of 7 undergraduate research assistants, Jiyun Lee, Mary-Kelsey Coletto, Rene Jones, Joohee Chung, Megan Wehrli, Laura Helregel, and Yoonkyung Kim Slide 26: Thanks also to two Korean churches, Jesus-Love Korean United Methodist Church and the Korean Church of Champaign-Urbana This study was supported by a 2005 Summer Fellowship Award from the Computer Science/Artificial Intelligence Group at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois, at Urbana-Champaign Reference : Reference Anderson, R.C., & Li, W. (2006). A cross-language perspective on learning to read. In A. McKeough, J. L. Lupart, L. Phillips, & V. Timmons (Eds.), Understanding literacy development: A global view (p. 65-91). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. Dyson, A.H. (1989). Multiple worlds of child writers: Friends learning to write. New York: Teachers College Press. Fey, M., Catts, H., Proctor-Williams, K., Tomblin, J. B., & Zhang, X. (2004).  Oral and written story composition skills of children with language impairment.  Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 47, 1301-1318. Fung, H., Miller, P.J., & Lin, L-C. (2004). Listening is active: Lessons from the narrative practices of Taiwanese families. In M.W. Pratt & B.E. Fiese (Eds.), Family stories and the life course: Across time and generations. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. Reference – cont. : Reference – cont. Kang, J.Y. (2003). On the ability to tell good stories in another language: Analysis of Korean EFL learners’ oral “frog story” narratives. Narrative Inquiry, 13(1), 127-149. Scores for new SAT with writing section by College Board. (2006,October 7). Retrieved August, 29, 2006, from http://www.collegeboard.com/press/releases/150054.html Ukrainetz, T.A., Justice, L.M., Kaderavek, J.N., Eisenberg, S.L., Gillam, R.B., & Harm, H.M. (2005). The development of expressive elaboration in fictional narratives. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 48, 1363-1377. Writing results by National Assessment of Educational Progress. (2006, October 2). Retrieved December, 2002, NAEP database from http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/nde. Thank you! : Thank you! Please contact me at hkim22@uiuc.edu

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