Factors affecting L2 phonological awareness in Chinese-Dutch preschoolers

Han Yuan*, Eliane Segers, Ludo Verhoeven

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The present study compared the relationship between Dutch phonological awareness (rhyme awareness, initial phoneme isolation), Dutch speech decoding and Dutch receptive vocabulary in two groups in different linguistic environments: 30 Mandarin Chinese-Dutch bilingual children and 24 monolingual Dutch peers. Chinese vocabulary and phonological awareness were taken into account in the bilingual group. Bilingual children scored below their Dutch monolingual counterparts on all Dutch tasks. In the bilingual group, Dutch rhyme awareness was predicted by Dutch speech decoding, both directly, and indirectly via Dutch receptive vocabulary. When adding Chinese proficiency to the model, Chinese rhyme awareness was found to mediate the relationship between Dutch speech decoding and Dutch rhyme awareness. It can thus be concluded that second language (L2) phonological awareness in Chinese-Dutch kindergartners is affected by their L2 speech and vocabulary level, on the one hand, and their level of phonological awareness in the first language (L1).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-128
Number of pages20
JournalWritten Language and Literacy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2020


  • Chinese-Dutch children
  • Language transfer
  • Phonological awareness
  • Speech decoding
  • n/a OA procedure


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