First of all, it is necessary to establish age of first exposure to English. For the purposes of this study, we determined age of first exposure as follows:
- When the child began to receive consistent and sustained exposure to English.
Most commonly, this was when the child began to attend an English-language daycare, preschool, or primary school program. Other possibilities include being cared for by an English-speaking babysitter for at least 3 days a week. The primary criterion is that the child is spending at least part-time (>= 3 days a week) immersed in a rich, English-only environment. Attending bilingual school is an acceptable environment, provided that the instruction is at least part-time (half) in English.
The following types of exposure to English are not counted:
- Casual infrequent exposure to English from television or in the community
- English spoken at home at the time of testing
This is because including these measures would make the calculation of exposure overly-complicated, and decrease the reliability and usefulness of the measure because of the increased variability. Furthermore, all the children in this study were exposed exclusively to their mother-tongue during infancy and toddlerhood, so considering casual English exposure was not necessary.
Note: If a child has a different history of exposure to English (for example: bilingual from birth or age of exposure much greater than 3 years), comparing that child to the norms given on this website may not be appropriate.
Calculation Procedure for English Exposure
- Convert age of exposure to months (multiply years by 12, and add months).
For example, age of exposure = 5;4 (years;months): 5x12=60, 60+4=64, age of exposure = 64 months
- Convert age at test to months (follow same method as step 1.)
- Subtract age of exposure from age at test.
For example, current age = 74 months, age of exposure = 64 months: 74-64=10, age of first exposure to English = 10 months
- Adjust for any interruptions to the child's exposure to English greater than 6 months.
For example, if the family took an extended trip to the hope country, subtract these months from the child's total months of exposure to English.