Journal article

Which measure of socioeconomic status best predicts bilingual lexical abilities and how? A focus on four-year-olds exposed to two majority languages

Daniela Gatt, Roberta Baldacchino, Barbara Dodd



This study evaluates the ability of different measures of socioeconomic status (SES) to predict lexical outcomes for preschoolers raised in a context of nationwide bilingualism. The participants were 58 children aged 3;11-4;3 from Maltese-dominant homes who attended state preschools. Receptive picture name judgement and picture naming, in Maltese and English, were employed to measure receptive and expressive lexical abilities, respectively. Lexical outcomes for four individual SES variables and a single composite SES measure were similar but not directly interchangeable. The composite SES variable emerged as most strongly predictive of children's lexical performance. Receptive judgement of p..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by University of Malta

Funding Acknowledgements

This work was supported by University of Malta Research Grants CMTRP01-01, CMTRP01-02, and CMTRP01-03. We would like to thank the participants, their guardians, and school staff for supporting this research. We are also grateful to Chantelle Bezzina, Vanessa Bezzina, Victoria Bonnici, Michelle Bugeja, Sarah Jayne Camenzuli, Diane Debattista, Estelle Farrugia, Maria Farrugia, Charlene Magri, Bianca Said, and Melissa Vassallo for collecting data, to Annabel Borg and Claudine Zerafa for their assistance in data coding and inputting, and to Professor Liberato Camilleri for statistical advice.