Early development of emerging and English-proficient bilingual children at school entry in an Australian population cohort

S.R. Goldfeld, M.K. O'Connor, J.M. Mithen, M. Sayers, Sally Brinkman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Children who enter school with limited proficiency in the language of instruction face a range of challenges in negotiating this new context, yet limited data have been available to describe the early developmental outcomes of this subpopulation in the Australian context. The Australian Early Development Index (AEDI) is a teacher-rated checklist that measures five important domains of child development: physical health and wellbeing, social competence, emotional maturity, language and cognitive skills, and communication skills and general knowledge. In 2009, the AEDI was completed for 97.5% of Australian children in their first year of schooling (N = 261,147; M = 5 years, 7 months of age), providing a unique opportunity to explore the cross-sectional associations between language background, proficiency in English, and early developmental outcomes at the population-level. Logistic regression analyses revealed that, compared to their peers from English-speaking backgrounds, bilingual children who were not yet proficient in English had substantially higher odds of being in the "vulnerable" range (bottom 10th percentile) on the AEDI domains (OR = 2.88, p
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-51
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Development
Volume38
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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