Published online by Cambridge University Press: 26 July 2016
This longitudinal study examined metalinguistic awareness in bilingual word reading development among Malay–English bilingual children in Singapore. Participants were assessed with the same tasks twice with a 1-year interval from Grade 3 to Grade 4 in phonological and morphological awareness and derived word decoding in both English and Malay. Structural equation modeling analyses revealed that both types of metalinguistic awareness significantly predicted derived word reading in both languages. Subsequent cross-lagged panel modeling found construct-level transfer facilitation effect from Malay on English for phonological awareness but conversely from English on Malay for morphological awareness. Neither type of metalinguistic awareness exerted a transfer facilitation effect on word reading. These findings shed light on the developmental mechanism of cross-linguistic transfer in biliteracy acquisition.
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