Young children's cognitive achievement: home learning environment, language and ethnic background

Frumkin, Lara (2013). Young children's cognitive achievement: home learning environment, language and ethnic background. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 11(3) pp. 222–235.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1476718X13482272

Abstract

For decades, research has shown differences in cognitive assessment scores between White and minority ethnic group(s) learners as well as differences across different minority ethnic groups. More recent data have indicated that the home learning environment and languages spoken can impact cognitive assessment and other corollary outcomes. This study uses the Millennium Cohort Study to jointly assess how minority ethnic group, home learning environment and home languages predict child cognitive assessment scores. Regression analyses were conducted using two assessment measures. The following is hypothesised: (1) cognitive achievement scores vary by minority ethnic group, (2) more home learning environment in early childhood leads to higher cognitive development scores and (3) English only in the home yields the highest cognitive scores while no English in the home yields the lowest. Findings reveal that there are differences in cognitive scores along ethnic group categories although there are also some unexpected findings. Home learning environment does not play as large a role as was predicted in raising the assessment scores overall for learners while speaking English in the home does, irrespective of ethnic background.

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