Bibliometric analysis of the literature on phonological awareness in bilingual children

Bárbara Louise Costa Messias Ana Carolina Dantas de Medeiros Élison Rixadson Araújo Cunha Anna Irenne de Lima Azevedo Thayane Amanda de Lima Rocha Hellen França Alcântara Cíntia Alves Salgado Azoni About the authors

ABSTRACT

Purpose:

to characterize the profile of scientific production in the international literature on phonological awareness in bilingual children between 2011 and 2020.

Methods:

a bibliometric analysis was made with the search for articles in ERIC, LILACS, MEDLINE, and SciELO databases, using descriptors in English. The articles were selected based on the eligibility criteria, by reading the titles, then reading the abstracts, and lastly, reading the full-text articles.

Results:

a total of 1,167 articles were analyzed, 1,152 of which were excluded for not meeting the inclusion criteria. Hence, 15 articles were selected for full-text reading and bibliometric analysis. The United States was the country with most publications, followed by Brazil, Singapore, and China. The approach of the studies was predominantly quantitative, followed by qualitative; the most common type of study was cross-sectional, with samples of more than 100 participants.

Conclusion:

there was a greater number of publications in the last 3 years, most of them cross-sectional ones, presenting better phonological awareness performance among bilinguals, with positive results in reading.

Keywords:
Multilingualism; Child Language; Language; Child; Development

RESUMO

Objetivo:

caracterizar o perfil da produção científica na literatura mundial sobre a consciência fonológica em crianças bilíngues, no período de 2011 a 2020.

Métodos:

foi realizada uma análise bibliométrica por meio da busca de artigos nas bases de dados Eric, Lilacs, Medline e Scielo, utilizando descritores em inglês. A seleção dos artigos foi realizada a partir de critérios de elegibilidade, por meio da leitura dos títulos, seguida da leitura dos abstracts e, por fim, pela leitura dos artigos completos.

Resultados:

foram analisados 1.167 artigos, sendo excluídos 1.152 por não cumprirem os critérios de inclusão e, ao final, selecionados 15 artigos para leitura do texto completo e análise bibliométrica. O país com maior número de publicações encontradas foi os Estados Unidos, seguido do Brasil, Singapura e China. A abordagem dos estudos foi predominantemente quantitativa, seguida da qualitativa; o tipo de estudo mais encontrado foi transversal, com amostras acima de 100 participantes.

Conclusão:

constatou-se maior número de publicações nos últimos três anos, em sua maioria de delineamento transversal, com melhor desempenho da consciência fonológica para os bilíngues, com repercussão positiva na leitura.

Descritores:
Multilinguismo, Linguagem Infantil; Idioma; Criança; Desenvolvimento

Introduction

Bilingualism, though still a widely debated term, is a global phenomenon. It identifies people who are fluent in at least two languages, capable of efficiently producing and understanding both of them11. Flores BTM. Bilinguismo. Textura. 2005;7(12):79-89..

New languages can be acquired in two ways. The first one is the early acquisition, when the person learns the second language (L2) between birth and childhood. This is further classified into simultaneous (when two languages are acquired at the same time) or sequential (when L2 is learned after the first language [L1] has been fully acquired). There are also the late bilinguals, who acquire L2 in adolescence or adulthood22. Almeida L, Flores C. Bilinguismo. In: Freitas MJ, Santos AL, editors. Aquisição de língua materna e não materna: questões gerais e dados do português. Berlin: Language Science Press. 1933. p. 275-304.,33. Megale AH. Bilinguismo e educação bilíngue - discutindo conceitos. ReVEL. 2005;5(3):1-13..

The demand for bilingual education has increased over the years, due to the increasingly dynamic and globalized world. Hence, parents have chosen to provide bilingual education to their children, so they will be prepared to live in such a world and experience other cultures44. Fávaro FM. A educação infantil bilíngue (português/inglês) na cidade de São Paulo e a formação dos profissionais da área: um estudo de caso [Thesis]. São Paulo (SP): Curso de Mestrado em Linguística Aplicada e Estudos da Linguagem, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo; 2009.,55. Assis CFLA. Efeitos do bilinguismo em crianças [Completion of Course Work]. João Pessoa (PB): Curso de Licenciatura em Letras - Língua Inglesa, Universidade Federal da Paraíba; 2020.. Moreover, using L2 to learn regular school subjects further helps acquire that language66. Cambridge International Examinations - CIE [homepage on the internet]. Bilingual learners and bilingual education. [accessed on 2020 Apr 20]. Available at: https://www.cambridgeinternational.org/Images/271190-bilingual-learners-and-bilingual-education.pdf
https://www.cambridgeinternational.org/I...
,77. BRASIL. Ministério da Educação. Base Nacional Comum Curricular. Brasília, 2018..

The literature is not yet unanimous on the best method to teach L2, as there are various acceptable bilingual teaching plans88. Hoexter FQ. Educação bilíngue na educação infantil. Rev. Intercâmbio. 2017;15:18-37.. However, studies state that bilingual education must be based on a well-planned program, with the following characteristics: teaching to read and write in the mother tongue, and afterward developing these skills in L2; teaching school subjects in L1, without translating them, thus providing the basis for the comprehension of L2; and teaching and helping students master L2 in quality well-developed classes99. Krashen SD. Bilingual education: a focus on current research. National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education. São Paulo: FOCUS; 1991..

Students must understand the rules of the alphabetic principle of writing (i.e., the links between phonemes and graphemes) to learn to read and write, both in L1 and L2. In its turn, understanding this principle requires the phonological awareness skill1010. Santos MJ, Barrera SD. The impact of training on phonological awareness skills in writing preschoolers. Psicol. Esc. Educ. 2017;21(1):93-102..

Phonological awareness is the ability to segment a sequence of letters into sound units (phonemes) and manipulate them1111. Wagner RK, Torgesen JK. The nature of phonological processing and its causal role in the acquisition of reading skills. Psychol Bull. 1987;101(2):192-212.. This skill is used to associate graphemes to phonemes and understand that such units are present in different words1010. Santos MJ, Barrera SD. The impact of training on phonological awareness skills in writing preschoolers. Psicol. Esc. Educ. 2017;21(1):93-102.

11. Wagner RK, Torgesen JK. The nature of phonological processing and its causal role in the acquisition of reading skills. Psychol Bull. 1987;101(2):192-212.
-1212. Jasinska KK, Petitto LA. Age of bilingual exposure is related to the contribution of phonological and semantic knowledge to successful reading development. Child Dev. 2018;89(1):310-31..

Thus, providing bilingual education to children while they are learning to read and write may positively influence their cognitive development, including attention, working memory, executive functions, and reading skills1313. Hickmann G, Guimarães S, Hickmann A. Aprendizado bilíngue e linguagem escrita: desenvolvimento de habilidades metalinguísticas. Cad. Pes. 2017;24(2):156-69.

14. David RS. Professor, quanto mais cedo é melhor? O papel diferencial da Educação Bilíngue. Tabuleiro de letras. 2016;10(2):65-77.
-1515. Dias IA, Muner LC. Os benefícios do bilinguismo para o desenvolvimento cognitivo infantil em crianças de dois a seis anos. Rev AMAzônica. 2020;23(1):230-46..

Concerning phonological awareness, bilingual children can learn phonological aspects faster than monolingual ones, according to the cross-language transfer theory1616. Core C, Scarpelli C. Phonological development in young bilinguals: clinical implications. Semin Speech Lang. 2015;36(2):100-8.. Phonological awareness transfer from L1 to L2 and vice-versa demonstrates that when bilingual children have this skill stimulated in one language, it will probably be transferred to the other one, as well1717. Dickinson DK, McCabe A, Clark-Chiarelli N, Wolf A. Cross-language transfer of phonological awareness in low-income Spanish and English bilingual preschool children. Appl Psycholinguist. 2004;25(3):323-47..

An eight-article integrative review showed that six of them revealed benefits in the phonological awareness of bilingual children in comparison with monolingual children. The bilingual children performed better in phonological awareness than their monolingual peers. Thus, L2 may positively influence the development of phonological awareness1818. Medeiros ACD, Santos MFP, Varela FVC, Rocha TAL, Messias BLC, Azoni CAS. Bilingualism in the development of phonological awareness skills: an integrative literature review. Rev. CEFAC. 2020;22(4):1-8..

Therefore, the following research question was established for this study: “What is the profile of the scientific production in the Brazilian and international literature addressing the role of phonological awareness in bilingualism?”. Bibliometrics is a quantitative analysis method for scientific studies and it can be used, in this case, as a methodology to measure the scientific production and contribution regarding the present topic1919. Da Silva RC. Avaliação da informação científica em Bibliometria aplicada às Ciências da Saúde. In: XXV Annals of the Congresso Brasileiro de Bibliteconomia, Documentação e Ciência da Informação; 2013 Jul 07-10, Florianópolis (SC), Brasil, pages 3324-39.,2020. Macias-Chapula CA. O papel da informetria e da cienciometria e sua perspectiva nacional e internacional. Ci. Inf. 1998;27(2):134-40..

Hence, the objective of this bibliometric review is to characterize the profile of the Brazilian and international scientific production on phonological awareness in bilingual children.

Methods

This is a bibliometric review of the state-of-the-art research on the role of phonological awareness in bilingualism. Bibliometrics quantitatively analyzes information to organize, characterize, and classify publications retrieved via search mechanisms, making it possible to identify patterns and the state-of-the-art in a given field2121. Macedo M, Botelho LLR, Duarte MAT. Revisão bibliométrica sobre a produção científica em aprendizagem gerencial. Rev Gestão Soc. 2010;4(8):619-39.. Articles published in the last 10 years (between January 2011 and April 2020) were searched in Brazilian and international journals in ERIC, LILACS, SciELO, and MEDLINE databases. The said period was established to search for publications because the topic in question was still incipient in the first decade of the 2000s. Moreover, this research aims to gather recent information in order to meet its objective of outlining the profile of the scientific production on bilingualism. The following descriptors regarding the topic were used, with the free terms and the Boolean operators in English: bilingualism AND phonology, bilingualism AND phonological awareness, and bilingualism AND phonological skills.

Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility criteria to select the sample were as follows: a) articles published in Brazilian and international journals in full text and available in the database; b) in English; c) experimental, observational, and review articles published in English in the last 10 years. Opinion articles, case series, case studies, communications, and articles approaching bilingualism for deaf people were not included.

The articles were selected by reading their title, then reading their abstract, and lastly reading the full text of articles potentially relevant to the review. Duplicate articles were excluded and the variables of interest regarding the selected articles were extracted and tabulated in a spreadsheet, with the following data: year of publication, journal name, country of publication, research design, keywords, the journals’ impact factor, Qualis, and main indexing, objectives, and results (Figure 1).

Figure 1:
Flowchart of the search

The descriptive analysis of the results was made based on frequency distribution, with their absolute (n) and relative (%) numbers.

Literature Review

A total of 1,167 articles published between January 2011 and April 2020 were found. Of these, 1,152 were excluded for not meeting the eligibility criteria. Such a high number of studies were due to a restricted descriptor selection - especially regarding the population of interest of the research, as there could be comparative studies between children and adults. Nonetheless, considering that this is still an incipient topic, it was decided to read the articles in full text to outline this criterion. Another hypothesis for this expressive initial number is the significant quantity of publications with the isolated descriptors that were chosen. Hence, the filters and Boolean operator combinations were essential to select the articles - which was based on the combination of the abovementioned free terms and Boolean operators, using the previous selection criteria. This resulted in 15 articles selected from MEDLINE, ERIC, LILACS, and SciELO.

The number of articles per year of publication varied considerably. Only one article2222. Sousa DS, Broom Y. Learning to read in English: comparing monolingual English and bilingual Zulu-English Grade 3 learners. South African J Child Educ. 2011;1(1):1-18. from 2011 was found, which investigated the acquisition of phonological reading skills in monolingual and bilingual children, pointed out as a little developed type of study on the topic at the time. The participants of both groups used their phonological awareness reading skills, and the results revealed better performance among bilingual children.

There was an increase between 2012 and 2014 in relation to 2011, but no studies were published in the following years (2015 and 2016). It increased again after that, especially in 2019, which concentrated the greatest number of published studies, totaling 26.66% (four articles) (Figure 2).

Figure 2:
Publications per year

The 2019 studies focused on investigating the participants’ performance in phonological awareness skills, especially comparing different groups. One study2323. Abdon MM, Maghanoy JM, Alieto EO, Buslon JB, Rillo RM, Bacang BG. Phonological awareness skills of English As Second Language (ESL) learners: the case of first-grade Filipino Bilinguals. Sci. Int. (Lahore). 2019;31(5):647-52. investigated the phonological awareness competence in bilinguals at different levels. Another one2424. Deng Q, Choi W, Tong X. Bidirectional cross-linguistic association of phonological skills and reading comprehension: evidence from Hong Kong Chinese-English bilingual readers.J Learn Disabil. 2019;(4):299-311. sought to understand the roles of phonological skills in people whose L1 was Chinese and L2, English. On the same perspective of these articles, researchers2525. Hsu LSJ, Ip KI, Arredondo MM, Tardif T, Kovelman I. Simultaneous acquisition of English and Chinese impacts children's reliance on vocabulary, morphological and phonological awareness for reading in English. Int J Biling Educ Biling. 2019;22(2):207-23. compared Chinese-English bilinguals with English monolinguals regarding phonological awareness and other linguistic skills.

The recent studies2323. Abdon MM, Maghanoy JM, Alieto EO, Buslon JB, Rillo RM, Bacang BG. Phonological awareness skills of English As Second Language (ESL) learners: the case of first-grade Filipino Bilinguals. Sci. Int. (Lahore). 2019;31(5):647-52.

24. Deng Q, Choi W, Tong X. Bidirectional cross-linguistic association of phonological skills and reading comprehension: evidence from Hong Kong Chinese-English bilingual readers.J Learn Disabil. 2019;(4):299-311.

25. Hsu LSJ, Ip KI, Arredondo MM, Tardif T, Kovelman I. Simultaneous acquisition of English and Chinese impacts children's reliance on vocabulary, morphological and phonological awareness for reading in English. Int J Biling Educ Biling. 2019;22(2):207-23.

26. Tong X, He X, Deacon SH. Tone matters for Cantonese-English bilingual children's English word reading development: a unified model of phonological transfer. Mem Cogn. 2017;45(2):320-33.

27. Hirosh Z, Degani T. Direct and indirect effects of multilingualism on novel language learning: an integrative review. Psychon Bull Rev. 2018;25(3):892-916.

28. Brancalioni AR, Bogoni AP, Silva DP, Giacchini V. A comparative study on phonological acquisition and performance in phonological awareness by children exposed to a bilingual or monolingual family environment. Rev. CEFAC. 2018;20(6):703-14.
-2929. Sun B, Hu G, Curdt-Christiansen XL. Metalinguistic contribution to writing competence: a study of monolingual children in China and bilingual children in Singapore. Read Writ. 2018;31(7):1499-523. followed the same methodological model found in 20112222. Sousa DS, Broom Y. Learning to read in English: comparing monolingual English and bilingual Zulu-English Grade 3 learners. South African J Child Educ. 2011;1(1):1-18.. Their differences lie in the groups of participants and the diversity of skills they studied, besides phonological awareness. One of the possible factors for the greater number of articles published in the last three years is the increased globalization - causing a greater demand for bilingual schools and consequently increasing the interest in studying their impacts and/or benefits in the children’s learning.

As for countries, the United States had the most publications in the period, with 26.66% (four articles), while Brazil, Singapore, and China had 13.33% (two articles) each. The other countries had only one published study each (Figure 3). The publications were predominantly in English, while 13.33% (two articles) were in both Brazilian Portuguese and English. Hence, the United States is noticeably leading the publication of research on bilingualism, in comparison with the number of studies published on the topic in other countries. This is especially due to the reality in many regions of the country, where there are children of Latin-American background3030. Kremin LVDV, Arredondo MM, Ju Hsu LS, Satterfield T, Kovelman I. The effects of Spanish heritage language literacy on English reading for Spanish-English bilingual children in the US. Int J Biling Educ Biling. 2019;22(2):192-206., a large number of immigrants, and the emerging need for understanding how these children develop phonological awareness to learn to read and write.

Figure 3:
Number of publications per country

A total of 61 different keywords were found, of which multilingualism2727. Hirosh Z, Degani T. Direct and indirect effects of multilingualism on novel language learning: an integrative review. Psychon Bull Rev. 2018;25(3):892-916.,2828. Brancalioni AR, Bogoni AP, Silva DP, Giacchini V. A comparative study on phonological acquisition and performance in phonological awareness by children exposed to a bilingual or monolingual family environment. Rev. CEFAC. 2018;20(6):703-14.,3131. Souza LBR, Leite AGC. Profile of phonological awareness in bilingual and monolingual children. CoDAS. 2014;26(1):61-7., phonological awareness2222. Sousa DS, Broom Y. Learning to read in English: comparing monolingual English and bilingual Zulu-English Grade 3 learners. South African J Child Educ. 2011;1(1):1-18.

23. Abdon MM, Maghanoy JM, Alieto EO, Buslon JB, Rillo RM, Bacang BG. Phonological awareness skills of English As Second Language (ESL) learners: the case of first-grade Filipino Bilinguals. Sci. Int. (Lahore). 2019;31(5):647-52.
-2424. Deng Q, Choi W, Tong X. Bidirectional cross-linguistic association of phonological skills and reading comprehension: evidence from Hong Kong Chinese-English bilingual readers.J Learn Disabil. 2019;(4):299-311.,2626. Tong X, He X, Deacon SH. Tone matters for Cantonese-English bilingual children's English word reading development: a unified model of phonological transfer. Mem Cogn. 2017;45(2):320-33.,2929. Sun B, Hu G, Curdt-Christiansen XL. Metalinguistic contribution to writing competence: a study of monolingual children in China and bilingual children in Singapore. Read Writ. 2018;31(7):1499-523.,3232. Yang H, Yang S, Kang C. The relationship between phonological awareness and executive attention in Chinese-English bilingual children. Cognitive Development. 2014;30:65-80.,3333. Limbird CK, Maluch JT, Rjosk C, Stanat P, Merkens H. Differential growth patterns in emerging reading skills of Turkish-German bilingual and German monolingual primary school students. Read Writ. 2014;27(5):945-68., and bilingualism2222. Sousa DS, Broom Y. Learning to read in English: comparing monolingual English and bilingual Zulu-English Grade 3 learners. South African J Child Educ. 2011;1(1):1-18.,2525. Hsu LSJ, Ip KI, Arredondo MM, Tardif T, Kovelman I. Simultaneous acquisition of English and Chinese impacts children's reliance on vocabulary, morphological and phonological awareness for reading in English. Int J Biling Educ Biling. 2019;22(2):207-23.,2727. Hirosh Z, Degani T. Direct and indirect effects of multilingualism on novel language learning: an integrative review. Psychon Bull Rev. 2018;25(3):892-916.,3030. Kremin LVDV, Arredondo MM, Ju Hsu LS, Satterfield T, Kovelman I. The effects of Spanish heritage language literacy on English reading for Spanish-English bilingual children in the US. Int J Biling Educ Biling. 2019;22(2):192-206.,3333. Limbird CK, Maluch JT, Rjosk C, Stanat P, Merkens H. Differential growth patterns in emerging reading skills of Turkish-German bilingual and German monolingual primary school students. Read Writ. 2014;27(5):945-68. were the most frequent ones (Figure 4). Keywords are tools for database indexing, which makes them an important source of access to scientific articles. They enable the researcher to obtain information on the content of a text beyond what has been presented by the title and abstract3434. Miguéis A, Neves B, Silva AL, Trindade A, Bernardes JA. A importância das palavras-chave dos artigos científicos da área das Ciências Farmacêuticas, depositados no Estudo Geral: estudo comparativo com os termos atribuídos na MEDLINE. InCID: Rev. Ci. Inf. Doc. 2013;4(2):112-25.,3535. Garcia DCF, Gattaz CC, Gattaz NC. A relevância do título, do resumo e de palavras-chave para a escrita de artigos científicos. RAC. 2019;23(3):1-9.. However, the variety of descriptors found in this research and the lack of homogeneity in concordant keywords may reflect the difficulty in finding publications in the databases.

Figure 4:
Descriptors of the articles

The Reading and Writing and International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism were the only two of the 12 journals with more than one publication - they had three and two, respectively (Figure 5). The International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism2525. Hsu LSJ, Ip KI, Arredondo MM, Tardif T, Kovelman I. Simultaneous acquisition of English and Chinese impacts children's reliance on vocabulary, morphological and phonological awareness for reading in English. Int J Biling Educ Biling. 2019;22(2):207-23.,3030. Kremin LVDV, Arredondo MM, Ju Hsu LS, Satterfield T, Kovelman I. The effects of Spanish heritage language literacy on English reading for Spanish-English bilingual children in the US. Int J Biling Educ Biling. 2019;22(2):192-206. is a new journal, focused on topics such as bilingualism, multilingualism, bilingual education, and new language acquisition. The most cited one, Reading and Writing2929. Sun B, Hu G, Curdt-Christiansen XL. Metalinguistic contribution to writing competence: a study of monolingual children in China and bilingual children in Singapore. Read Writ. 2018;31(7):1499-523.),(3535. Garcia DCF, Gattaz CC, Gattaz NC. A relevância do título, do resumo e de palavras-chave para a escrita de artigos científicos. RAC. 2019;23(3):1-9.),(3636. Kang J. Do bilingual children possess better phonological awareness? Investigation of Korean monolingual and Korean-English bilingual children. Read Writ. 2012;25(2):411-31., is an open-access interdisciplinary and interprofessional academic journal that explores aspects of literacy in institutional, sociocultural, and disciplinary contexts. The topics of the articles published in this journal encompassed comparisons between monolingual and bilingual children regarding metalinguistic awareness in writing2929. Sun B, Hu G, Curdt-Christiansen XL. Metalinguistic contribution to writing competence: a study of monolingual children in China and bilingual children in Singapore. Read Writ. 2018;31(7):1499-523. and the relationship of phonological awareness with learning to read and write3535. Garcia DCF, Gattaz CC, Gattaz NC. A relevância do título, do resumo e de palavras-chave para a escrita de artigos científicos. RAC. 2019;23(3):1-9. and with reading decoding3636. Kang J. Do bilingual children possess better phonological awareness? Investigation of Korean monolingual and Korean-English bilingual children. Read Writ. 2012;25(2):411-31.. The bilingual subjects performed better in only one study2929. Sun B, Hu G, Curdt-Christiansen XL. Metalinguistic contribution to writing competence: a study of monolingual children in China and bilingual children in Singapore. Read Writ. 2018;31(7):1499-523., whereas the other ones did not show significant differences3535. Garcia DCF, Gattaz CC, Gattaz NC. A relevância do título, do resumo e de palavras-chave para a escrita de artigos científicos. RAC. 2019;23(3):1-9.,3636. Kang J. Do bilingual children possess better phonological awareness? Investigation of Korean monolingual and Korean-English bilingual children. Read Writ. 2012;25(2):411-31..

Figure 5:
Number of journals

Similar to the descriptors, there was a variety of journals with publications. The International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism stands out among them, possibly as a reference in publications in the field, as it specifically approaches bilingualism.

Table 1:
Methodological aspects of the studies

Quantitative studies were the most recurrent type (93.33%, corresponding to 14 articles); only one article (6.66%) had a qualitative approach. This one was an integrative review that addressed issues of bilingualism in childhood and adulthood and literacy2727. Hirosh Z, Degani T. Direct and indirect effects of multilingualism on novel language learning: an integrative review. Psychon Bull Rev. 2018;25(3):892-916.. Cross-sectional studies were the most frequent ones, totaling 12 (80%). Most of these compared participants in different groups regarding phonological awareness skills, collecting new data (Table 1). Regarding the sample, most studies had more than 100 participants.

Cross-sectional studies, which are characteristically low-cost, can outline the profile of the studied population. In this bibliometric review, all of them had a comparative profile and demonstrated that bilingual children who are learning to read and write performed better in phonological awareness in reading in this group of children2323. Abdon MM, Maghanoy JM, Alieto EO, Buslon JB, Rillo RM, Bacang BG. Phonological awareness skills of English As Second Language (ESL) learners: the case of first-grade Filipino Bilinguals. Sci. Int. (Lahore). 2019;31(5):647-52.

24. Deng Q, Choi W, Tong X. Bidirectional cross-linguistic association of phonological skills and reading comprehension: evidence from Hong Kong Chinese-English bilingual readers.J Learn Disabil. 2019;(4):299-311.
-2525. Hsu LSJ, Ip KI, Arredondo MM, Tardif T, Kovelman I. Simultaneous acquisition of English and Chinese impacts children's reliance on vocabulary, morphological and phonological awareness for reading in English. Int J Biling Educ Biling. 2019;22(2):207-23.,3030. Kremin LVDV, Arredondo MM, Ju Hsu LS, Satterfield T, Kovelman I. The effects of Spanish heritage language literacy on English reading for Spanish-English bilingual children in the US. Int J Biling Educ Biling. 2019;22(2):192-206.,3333. Limbird CK, Maluch JT, Rjosk C, Stanat P, Merkens H. Differential growth patterns in emerging reading skills of Turkish-German bilingual and German monolingual primary school students. Read Writ. 2014;27(5):945-68.,3636. Kang J. Do bilingual children possess better phonological awareness? Investigation of Korean monolingual and Korean-English bilingual children. Read Writ. 2012;25(2):411-31., as already identified in previous studies1616. Core C, Scarpelli C. Phonological development in young bilinguals: clinical implications. Semin Speech Lang. 2015;36(2):100-8.,1717. Dickinson DK, McCabe A, Clark-Chiarelli N, Wolf A. Cross-language transfer of phonological awareness in low-income Spanish and English bilingual preschool children. Appl Psycholinguist. 2004;25(3):323-47..

Two out of the 15 articles reviewed were longitudinal. The first one focused on testing over the years, in Cantonese-English bilingual children, the prosodic transfer hypothesis and the segmental phonological awareness transfer hypothesis, both alone and in combination, in the three latent variable structural equation models2626. Tong X, He X, Deacon SH. Tone matters for Cantonese-English bilingual children's English word reading development: a unified model of phonological transfer. Mem Cogn. 2017;45(2):320-33.. For the segmental transfer model, the sensitivity to Cantonese intonation helped the segmental phonological awareness in that language, which longitudinally contributed to the segmental phonological awareness in L2 (English) and, as a result, to reading words in English. Generally, the study results support a unified phonological transfer model, emphasizing the role of prosody in reading words in English among Cantonese-English bilingual children2626. Tong X, He X, Deacon SH. Tone matters for Cantonese-English bilingual children's English word reading development: a unified model of phonological transfer. Mem Cogn. 2017;45(2):320-33..

The objective of the second longitudinal study3333. Limbird CK, Maluch JT, Rjosk C, Stanat P, Merkens H. Differential growth patterns in emerging reading skills of Turkish-German bilingual and German monolingual primary school students. Read Writ. 2014;27(5):945-68. was to examine whether there were different growth patterns in the basic reading skills between Turkish-German bilingual and German monolingual students. It also investigated whether a common reading model would equally fit both groups. The study revealed that both groups congruently developed their reading comprehension and other reading-related skills (phonological awareness and decoding). The authors also highlighted that the bilingual children in the sample had a slightly higher phonological awareness, though their development was similar to that of the monolingual group.

Lastly, the studies varied in terms of language transparency, phonological awareness performance, exposure time, and relationship with reading development. Table 2 shows the variety of results regarding phonological awareness between bilinguals and monolinguals, as there is yet no consensus on the advantages and disadvantages of bilingual education2222. Sousa DS, Broom Y. Learning to read in English: comparing monolingual English and bilingual Zulu-English Grade 3 learners. South African J Child Educ. 2011;1(1):1-18.

23. Abdon MM, Maghanoy JM, Alieto EO, Buslon JB, Rillo RM, Bacang BG. Phonological awareness skills of English As Second Language (ESL) learners: the case of first-grade Filipino Bilinguals. Sci. Int. (Lahore). 2019;31(5):647-52.

24. Deng Q, Choi W, Tong X. Bidirectional cross-linguistic association of phonological skills and reading comprehension: evidence from Hong Kong Chinese-English bilingual readers.J Learn Disabil. 2019;(4):299-311.

25. Hsu LSJ, Ip KI, Arredondo MM, Tardif T, Kovelman I. Simultaneous acquisition of English and Chinese impacts children's reliance on vocabulary, morphological and phonological awareness for reading in English. Int J Biling Educ Biling. 2019;22(2):207-23.

26. Tong X, He X, Deacon SH. Tone matters for Cantonese-English bilingual children's English word reading development: a unified model of phonological transfer. Mem Cogn. 2017;45(2):320-33.

27. Hirosh Z, Degani T. Direct and indirect effects of multilingualism on novel language learning: an integrative review. Psychon Bull Rev. 2018;25(3):892-916.

28. Brancalioni AR, Bogoni AP, Silva DP, Giacchini V. A comparative study on phonological acquisition and performance in phonological awareness by children exposed to a bilingual or monolingual family environment. Rev. CEFAC. 2018;20(6):703-14.

29. Sun B, Hu G, Curdt-Christiansen XL. Metalinguistic contribution to writing competence: a study of monolingual children in China and bilingual children in Singapore. Read Writ. 2018;31(7):1499-523.

30. Kremin LVDV, Arredondo MM, Ju Hsu LS, Satterfield T, Kovelman I. The effects of Spanish heritage language literacy on English reading for Spanish-English bilingual children in the US. Int J Biling Educ Biling. 2019;22(2):192-206.

31. Souza LBR, Leite AGC. Profile of phonological awareness in bilingual and monolingual children. CoDAS. 2014;26(1):61-7.

32. Yang H, Yang S, Kang C. The relationship between phonological awareness and executive attention in Chinese-English bilingual children. Cognitive Development. 2014;30:65-80.

33. Limbird CK, Maluch JT, Rjosk C, Stanat P, Merkens H. Differential growth patterns in emerging reading skills of Turkish-German bilingual and German monolingual primary school students. Read Writ. 2014;27(5):945-68.
-3434. Miguéis A, Neves B, Silva AL, Trindade A, Bernardes JA. A importância das palavras-chave dos artigos científicos da área das Ciências Farmacêuticas, depositados no Estudo Geral: estudo comparativo com os termos atribuídos na MEDLINE. InCID: Rev. Ci. Inf. Doc. 2013;4(2):112-25.,3737. Reder F, Marec-Brenton N, Gombert JE, Demont E. Second-language learners' advantage in metalinguistic awareness: a question of languages' characteristics. The BPS. 2013;83(1):686-7012..

Table 2:
Objectives and results of the phonological awareness performance in the samples

The journals with the highest impact factors were the Psychonomic Bulletin and Review2727. Hirosh Z, Degani T. Direct and indirect effects of multilingualism on novel language learning: an integrative review. Psychon Bull Rev. 2018;25(3):892-916.) and Developmental Psychology3838. Wong SW, Chow BW, Ho CS, Waye MM, Bishop DV. Genetic and environmental overlap between Chinese and English reading-related skills in Chinese children. Dev Psychol. 2014;50(11):2539-48.. This factor - which can be low, high, or non-impact - measures the quality of the journals and assesses the authors and researchers according to their publications and citations3939. Ruiz MA, Greco OT, Braile DM. Fator de impacto: importância e influência no meio editorial, acadêmico e científico. Rev Bras Cir Cardiovasc. 2009;24(3):273-8.. The journals listed as “not applicable” in the impact factor column of the table either did not have it or did not inform it on its website or in Scopus. The same applies to Qualis and indexing.

Table 3:
The journals’ impact factor, Qualis, and main indexing

Concerning the limitations of the study, despite its bibliometric design, new studies should focus on the descriptive approach of phonological awareness and its influence on written language development in bilingual children. There is also the emerging relevance of systematic review studies with meta-analyses, which can help understand phonological awareness strategies to favor the development of reading and writing in this population.

Conclusion

According to the findings, the profile of the scientific production in the international literature on phonological awareness in bilingual children shows an increase in the number of publications on the topic over the last 3 years; little variation among the studies regarding methodological aspects (type of study and approach); most of the journals where they were published have a relevant impact factor for the advancement of science in the field, especially considering phonological awareness as an important skill for reading development; the United States of America concentrated the largest number of publications; and Reading and Writing was the journal that published most studies in the period.

Thus, it is important to develop longitudinal studies analyzing not only the role of phonological awareness in bilingualism but also its consequences.

REFERENCES

  • 1
    Flores BTM. Bilinguismo. Textura. 2005;7(12):79-89.
  • 2
    Almeida L, Flores C. Bilinguismo. In: Freitas MJ, Santos AL, editors. Aquisição de língua materna e não materna: questões gerais e dados do português. Berlin: Language Science Press. 1933. p. 275-304.
  • 3
    Megale AH. Bilinguismo e educação bilíngue - discutindo conceitos. ReVEL. 2005;5(3):1-13.
  • 4
    Fávaro FM. A educação infantil bilíngue (português/inglês) na cidade de São Paulo e a formação dos profissionais da área: um estudo de caso [Thesis]. São Paulo (SP): Curso de Mestrado em Linguística Aplicada e Estudos da Linguagem, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo; 2009.
  • 5
    Assis CFLA. Efeitos do bilinguismo em crianças [Completion of Course Work]. João Pessoa (PB): Curso de Licenciatura em Letras - Língua Inglesa, Universidade Federal da Paraíba; 2020.
  • 6
    Cambridge International Examinations - CIE [homepage on the internet]. Bilingual learners and bilingual education. [accessed on 2020 Apr 20]. Available at: https://www.cambridgeinternational.org/Images/271190-bilingual-learners-and-bilingual-education.pdf
    » https://www.cambridgeinternational.org/Images/271190-bilingual-learners-and-bilingual-education.pdf
  • 7
    BRASIL. Ministério da Educação. Base Nacional Comum Curricular. Brasília, 2018.
  • 8
    Hoexter FQ. Educação bilíngue na educação infantil. Rev. Intercâmbio. 2017;15:18-37.
  • 9
    Krashen SD. Bilingual education: a focus on current research. National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education. São Paulo: FOCUS; 1991.
  • 10
    Santos MJ, Barrera SD. The impact of training on phonological awareness skills in writing preschoolers. Psicol. Esc. Educ. 2017;21(1):93-102.
  • 11
    Wagner RK, Torgesen JK. The nature of phonological processing and its causal role in the acquisition of reading skills. Psychol Bull. 1987;101(2):192-212.
  • 12
    Jasinska KK, Petitto LA. Age of bilingual exposure is related to the contribution of phonological and semantic knowledge to successful reading development. Child Dev. 2018;89(1):310-31.
  • 13
    Hickmann G, Guimarães S, Hickmann A. Aprendizado bilíngue e linguagem escrita: desenvolvimento de habilidades metalinguísticas. Cad. Pes. 2017;24(2):156-69.
  • 14
    David RS. Professor, quanto mais cedo é melhor? O papel diferencial da Educação Bilíngue. Tabuleiro de letras. 2016;10(2):65-77.
  • 15
    Dias IA, Muner LC. Os benefícios do bilinguismo para o desenvolvimento cognitivo infantil em crianças de dois a seis anos. Rev AMAzônica. 2020;23(1):230-46.
  • 16
    Core C, Scarpelli C. Phonological development in young bilinguals: clinical implications. Semin Speech Lang. 2015;36(2):100-8.
  • 17
    Dickinson DK, McCabe A, Clark-Chiarelli N, Wolf A. Cross-language transfer of phonological awareness in low-income Spanish and English bilingual preschool children. Appl Psycholinguist. 2004;25(3):323-47.
  • 18
    Medeiros ACD, Santos MFP, Varela FVC, Rocha TAL, Messias BLC, Azoni CAS. Bilingualism in the development of phonological awareness skills: an integrative literature review. Rev. CEFAC. 2020;22(4):1-8.
  • 19
    Da Silva RC. Avaliação da informação científica em Bibliometria aplicada às Ciências da Saúde. In: XXV Annals of the Congresso Brasileiro de Bibliteconomia, Documentação e Ciência da Informação; 2013 Jul 07-10, Florianópolis (SC), Brasil, pages 3324-39.
  • 20
    Macias-Chapula CA. O papel da informetria e da cienciometria e sua perspectiva nacional e internacional. Ci. Inf. 1998;27(2):134-40.
  • 21
    Macedo M, Botelho LLR, Duarte MAT. Revisão bibliométrica sobre a produção científica em aprendizagem gerencial. Rev Gestão Soc. 2010;4(8):619-39.
  • 22
    Sousa DS, Broom Y. Learning to read in English: comparing monolingual English and bilingual Zulu-English Grade 3 learners. South African J Child Educ. 2011;1(1):1-18.
  • 23
    Abdon MM, Maghanoy JM, Alieto EO, Buslon JB, Rillo RM, Bacang BG. Phonological awareness skills of English As Second Language (ESL) learners: the case of first-grade Filipino Bilinguals. Sci. Int. (Lahore). 2019;31(5):647-52.
  • 24
    Deng Q, Choi W, Tong X. Bidirectional cross-linguistic association of phonological skills and reading comprehension: evidence from Hong Kong Chinese-English bilingual readers.J Learn Disabil. 2019;(4):299-311.
  • 25
    Hsu LSJ, Ip KI, Arredondo MM, Tardif T, Kovelman I. Simultaneous acquisition of English and Chinese impacts children's reliance on vocabulary, morphological and phonological awareness for reading in English. Int J Biling Educ Biling. 2019;22(2):207-23.
  • 26
    Tong X, He X, Deacon SH. Tone matters for Cantonese-English bilingual children's English word reading development: a unified model of phonological transfer. Mem Cogn. 2017;45(2):320-33.
  • 27
    Hirosh Z, Degani T. Direct and indirect effects of multilingualism on novel language learning: an integrative review. Psychon Bull Rev. 2018;25(3):892-916.
  • 28
    Brancalioni AR, Bogoni AP, Silva DP, Giacchini V. A comparative study on phonological acquisition and performance in phonological awareness by children exposed to a bilingual or monolingual family environment. Rev. CEFAC. 2018;20(6):703-14.
  • 29
    Sun B, Hu G, Curdt-Christiansen XL. Metalinguistic contribution to writing competence: a study of monolingual children in China and bilingual children in Singapore. Read Writ. 2018;31(7):1499-523.
  • 30
    Kremin LVDV, Arredondo MM, Ju Hsu LS, Satterfield T, Kovelman I. The effects of Spanish heritage language literacy on English reading for Spanish-English bilingual children in the US. Int J Biling Educ Biling. 2019;22(2):192-206.
  • 31
    Souza LBR, Leite AGC. Profile of phonological awareness in bilingual and monolingual children. CoDAS. 2014;26(1):61-7.
  • 32
    Yang H, Yang S, Kang C. The relationship between phonological awareness and executive attention in Chinese-English bilingual children. Cognitive Development. 2014;30:65-80.
  • 33
    Limbird CK, Maluch JT, Rjosk C, Stanat P, Merkens H. Differential growth patterns in emerging reading skills of Turkish-German bilingual and German monolingual primary school students. Read Writ. 2014;27(5):945-68.
  • 34
    Miguéis A, Neves B, Silva AL, Trindade A, Bernardes JA. A importância das palavras-chave dos artigos científicos da área das Ciências Farmacêuticas, depositados no Estudo Geral: estudo comparativo com os termos atribuídos na MEDLINE. InCID: Rev. Ci. Inf. Doc. 2013;4(2):112-25.
  • 35
    Garcia DCF, Gattaz CC, Gattaz NC. A relevância do título, do resumo e de palavras-chave para a escrita de artigos científicos. RAC. 2019;23(3):1-9.
  • 36
    Kang J. Do bilingual children possess better phonological awareness? Investigation of Korean monolingual and Korean-English bilingual children. Read Writ. 2012;25(2):411-31.
  • 37
    Reder F, Marec-Brenton N, Gombert JE, Demont E. Second-language learners' advantage in metalinguistic awareness: a question of languages' characteristics. The BPS. 2013;83(1):686-7012.
  • 38
    Wong SW, Chow BW, Ho CS, Waye MM, Bishop DV. Genetic and environmental overlap between Chinese and English reading-related skills in Chinese children. Dev Psychol. 2014;50(11):2539-48.
  • 39
    Ruiz MA, Greco OT, Braile DM. Fator de impacto: importância e influência no meio editorial, acadêmico e científico. Rev Bras Cir Cardiovasc. 2009;24(3):273-8.

  • This study was carried out at the Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte - UFRN, Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil.
  • Research support source: This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior - Brasil (CAPES) - Finance Code 001.

Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    04 Apr 2022
  • Date of issue
    2022

History

  • Received
    08 Mar 2021
  • Accepted
    01 Sept 2021
ABRAMO Associação Brasileira de Motricidade Orofacial Rua Uruguaiana, 516, Cep 13026-001 Campinas SP Brasil, Tel.: +55 19 3254-0342 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil
E-mail: revistacefac@cefac.br