Bilingual handwriting development
Based on the importance of handwriting in academic and literacy development, this thesis examines the handwriting differences between monolingual and French-English bilingual second-grade students through the use of eye-tracking technology. A total of 23 students (12 monolinguals, 11 bilinguals) participated in the study, which consists of reading and writing a series of 24 English, French, and pronounceable nonsense words of varying lengths followed by three standardized tests that measure reading comprehension, spatial working memory, and vocabulary recognition. Eye-tracking videos were coded trial by trial for pen lifts, accuracy, and copying times. Though word length and word type did not significantly predict word score or Phase 1 duration, results indicated that children’s motor continuity decreased as the words increased in length across all three of the word types. This effect varied between groups, such that monolinguals lifted their pens more than bilinguals, but not to a significant degree. Analyses also revealed that children spent longer times writing longer words, but this did not vary across the different word types. Though these results do not support significant differences between language groups, future research with an increased sample size can help validate these results and continue to explore differences based on language group.