Rudiments of Inflectional Morphology Skills in Emergent English–Hebrew Biliterates

  • Esther Geva
  • Dana Shafman
Part of the Literacy Studies book series (LITS, volume 2)


The present study investigated the development of inflectional morphological skills in primary school children learning Hebrew as a foreign language. Participants were grade 1 and 2 children whose home language is English, attending a bilingual English-Hebrew day school in Canada. Side by side with a growing repertoire of Hebrew vocabulary, grammatical skills and sentence comprehension, rudiments of various inflectional skills are already part of the linguistic skills of primary school children who have had one to two years of exposure to Hebrew in the classroom. Hebrew as L2 children who had better syntactic skills were more successful on more analytic morphological inflection tasks as well. Familiarity with specific lexical items was more important for the successful inflections of specific words than general vocabulary knowledge. On the whole, just like monolingual children, Hebrew as L2 children who have better developed vocabulary and morphological skills are better able to comprehend sentences, and vice versa.


Phonological Awareness Language Proficiency Oral Language Morphological Awareness Primary School Child 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We wish to thank the staff and children at Associated Hebrew Day School (Neptune Branch) in Toronto for their support and patience. We are also grateful to the University of Toronto for enabling access to undergraduate interns.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of TorontoTorontoCanada

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