He Sun

He Sun
Nanyang Technological University | ntu · National Institute of Education

Doctor of Philosophy

About

34
Publications
14,491
Reads
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280
Citations
Introduction
SUN He is a research scientist at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Her major interests are 1) early language development with eBook and paper book readings, 2) individual differences in early English and heritage language development, and 3) harmonious bilingual education and children’s development in social-emotional wellbeing and executive functioning. She uses both linear and nonlinear time series techniques to investigate the variability and stages of early language learning.
Additional affiliations
September 2015 - February 2016
University of Groningen
Position
  • Lecturer

Publications

Publications (34)
Article
Full-text available
This study examined Mandarin–English bilingual children’s visual attention over repetitive readings of Mandarin enhanced digital books and static books as well as the effects visual attention has on story retelling. We assigned 89 4- and 5-year-old preschoolers in Singapore to one of three reading conditions: (a) digital books with visual and audit...
Article
Full-text available
Both language input and output are important to child language learners' heritage language development. Nevertheless, existing studies mainly focus on language input, leaving the significance of language output underexplored. The current study assessed 201 kindergarteners' Mandarin skills (i.e., receptive vocabulary, receptive grammar, and verbal f...
Research
Full-text available
Local Research Synthesis O’Brien, B. A., Sun, H., Sun, B., Chua, D., & Ow, R. L. (2021). Local evidence synthesis on language learning and bilingualism. Singapore: Office of Education Research, National Institute of Education.
Article
Children’s social emotional skills develop rapidly during early childhood. So, how should early childhood educators seize the sensitive period to promote children’s social emotional learning (SEL) in class? In this study, a comprehensive coding scheme was developed to explore teachers’ strategies and children’s corresponding responses in shared boo...
Article
Full-text available
The current study explored the home and school factors that are important for Singaporean pre-schoolers’ (N = 1440) early English development from K1 to P1. Language input quantity and quality factors at home (e.g., number of English books,) and at school (e.g., instructional support in class) were used to predict children’s English vocabulary and...
Chapter
In this paper, we explain the connection between information processing by complex systems and recurrent activity sequences in their dynamics. We argue that an understanding of information processing pathways in terms of these dynamical motifs is important for designing effective interventions. We then describe a recently completed study, where we...
Article
Full-text available
This study employs the Specificity Principle to examine the relative impacts of external (input quantity at home and at school, number of books and reading frequency at home, teachers' degree and experience, language usage, socioeconomic status) and internal factors (children's working memory, nonverbal intelligence, learning-related social-skills,...
Article
Full-text available
The current study examines the relationship between bilingual children's dual language experience (i.e. language input, language output and vocabulary proficiency), and their social-emotional and behavioral skills. Data were analysed from 805 Singaporean bilingual preschoolers (ages 4; 1–5; 8 years), who are learning English and either Mandarin (n...
Experiment Findings
Full-text available
Article
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The study of how conversational partners align language behavior has been given much attention in psychology, linguistics and sociology. Prominent frameworks for investigating this type of cooperative behavior include dialogic resonance, the interactive alignment model, abstract structural priming, and format tying. Yet, we do not have estimates of...
Article
Full-text available
In the United States, the Interstate Teacher Assessment Consortium (InTASC) Standards and Education can be generally defined as a process of receiving and providing systematic instruction, and it embodies the verbal and nonverbal networks that the stakeholders (e.g., teachers and students) co-construct. Recent years witness an increasing interest i...
Article
Full-text available
Teacher talk has been found to significantly affect children’s early language development during shared book reading; however, the mechanism of such influence remains unclear. The current study has zoomed in on vocabulary development in Mandarin as a heritage language (HL) in Singapore kindergartens, 1) exploring the linguistic features (i.e. lexic...
Article
Full-text available
The current study investigates the impact of the teachers' societal dominant language use within a weak version of translanguaging in early heritage language education. We explored five preschool teachers' use of English, the dominant majority language, in Tamil heritage language classes in Singapore and examined its impact on 33 children's immedia...
Article
Full-text available
The current study seeks to explore the impact of multimedia input at home on bilingual children's language outcomes. Two hundred and two Singaporean English-Mandarin kindergarteners' multimedia experience (i.e., the resources and the amount of multimedia input) and conventional language exposure (e.g., language use with family members) were investi...
Chapter
Full-text available
Building lexical knowledge is one of the most fundamental developments in early childhood, as such development is associated with children’s later academic achievement and other language abilities. Both breadth (e.g., receptive vocabulary size) and depth (e.g., syntagmatic and paradigmatic knowledge) of lexical knowledge are vital, as the former in...
Article
Full-text available
Teachers’ language practice during shared book reading may significantly affect the rate and outcome of early language proficiency. The current study has focused on 37 kindergarten teachers and 440 4- to 5-year-old kindergartners during their shared book reading sessions in Singapore, exploring teachers’ variation in instructional strategies and li...
Article
Full-text available
Child characteristics, family factors, and preschool factors are all found to affect the rate of bilingual children's vocabulary development in heritage language (HL). However, what remains unknown is the relative importance of these three sets of factors in HL vocabulary growth. The current study explored the complex issue with 457 Singaporean pre...
Article
Full-text available
Existing studies are inconclusive about if and how children's stronger language can support target language instruction. This study analyzed 29 Malay language teachers' switching practices, reasons for switching, and perceptions of their Malay-English bilingual children's language preferences and needs, in Singaporean preschool classrooms. 5 teach-...
Article
Full-text available
To code-switch or not to code-switch? This is a dilemma for many bilingual language teachers. In this study, the influence of teachers' CS on bilingual children's language and cognitive development is explored within heritage language (HL) classes in Singapore. Specifically, the relationship between children's language output, vocabulary developmen...
Article
We suggest that prior to school entry, our earliest "teachers" and "learning settings"-that is, our parents, caregivers, and homes-provide signals about our environmental conditions. In turn, our brains may interpret this information as cues indicating the types of environments we will likely face and adapt accordingly. We discuss ways in which two...
Article
Full-text available
The current study seeks to illustrate the relationships between child bilinguals’ mother tongue language (MTL) exposure and reading activities at home, children’s receptive MTL proficiency, and their socio-emotional and behavioral skills (SEBS). Data from 202 Singapore preschoolers (4–5 years old) who are learning English and Mandarin were analyzed...
Research Proposal
Full-text available
This review focuses on the impact of shared book reading on children’s social and emotional skills. Shared book reading were reported to be associated with children’s empathy skills, socioemotional adjustment, as well as prosocial behavior and emotional understanding. Shared book reading have been recommended as a natural practice to facilitate soc...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the role of the “animated eBook advantage” in child bilingual’s Mandarin learning, which has tended to be examined in the acquisition of Germanic languages. With this aim, 102 4- to 5-year-old preschoolers in Singapore were assigned to one of four conditions: (a) animated eBooks (+sound+motion), (b) static eBooks with sound, (c)...
Research Proposal
Full-text available
The aim of this review is to summarize the available evidence on the impact of shared book reading on the language and literacy skills of children in Asia. While there have been several attempts to summarize the available evidence on the impact of shared book reading on children’s language and literacy skills in general, it is not clear if their fi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Much more is known about the impact of teacher's instructional strategies on children's learning outcome than on their learning process. This study investigates the relationship between teachers' high-/medium-/low-level strategies and children's vocabulary development, and explores the association between such strategies and children's response fro...
Article
Full-text available
Both internal factors (e.g., nonverbal intelligence) and external factors (e.g., input quantity) are claimed to affect the rate of children's vocabulary development. However, it remains an open question whether these variables work similarly on bilingual children's dual language learning. The current paper examined this issue on 805 Singapore child...
Article
Full-text available
The current study focuses on one child's (male, 3 years old) learning behaviors in an English as a Foreign Language classroom, and explores the coordination and developmental patterns of his nonverbal (gestures and body language) and verbal (verbal repetition and verbal responses) learning behaviors over time. Guided by the principles of the theory...
Preprint
The current study focuses on one child's (male, 3 years old) learning behaviors in an English as a Foreign Language classroom, and explores the coordination and developmental patterns of his nonverbal (gestures and body language) and verbal (verbal repetition and verbal responses) learning behaviors over time. Guided by the principles of the theory...
Article
Full-text available
This study assesses the impact of internal and external factors on very young EFL learners in an instructional setting. 71 child English learners in China (onset age: 2;0 - 5;6) were involved: their receptive vocabulary, productive vocabulary and receptive grammar were taken as outcome variables, and age of onset, short-term memory, nonverbal intel...
Article
Full-text available
This study examines the English vocabulary development of 43 very young child English as a foreign language (FL) learners (age 3.2–6.2) in China. They were tested twice for vocabulary breadth (reception and production) and semantic depth (paradigmatic and syntagmatic vocabulary knowledge). The development of the English vocabulary knowledge between...
Article
Full-text available
This study assesses the impact of internal and external factors on very young EFL learners in an instructional setting. 71 child English learners in China (onset age: 2;0 - 5;6) were involved: their receptive vocabulary, productive vocabulary, and receptive grammar were taken as outcome variables, and age of onset, short-term memory, nonverbal inte...
Article
Full-text available
Aims The current study tests Clarke’s (1999) findings on phases and variations of the English development of young second-language learners in a Chinese English as a Foreign Language setting and explores the cause of these variations under the following questions: 1) What verbal and non-verbal behavior can be observed in Chinese preschoolers in an...

Questions

Questions (2)
Question
Dear all, my colleagues and I wrote a paper with eye-tracking data and we have used a linear mixed-effects model to explore the answer. We are not sure whether to report the contrasts in Table 2a which are sum-to-zero coded (using lmerTest::anova()) or to report the contrasts with dummy codes in Table 2b (using car::Anova()). The results in Table 2a are in line with the results in Table 1, however, they are much more difficult to be interpreted than the results in Table 2b. To sum up, I have the following two questions.
1) should we report Table 2a or Table 2b?
2) Is it necessary to include Table 1?
May I have your insight on these two questions? Many thanks.
Question
In China, there are millions of very young English language learners. Their parents really need advice on how to establish a good bilingual literacy environment. I would like to do something for them, such as introducing appropriate ways of using electronic storybooks and making recommendations of good readings. I am wandering how to start the project. Is there any one who has such experience and wants to work with me? 

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Projects

Projects (6)
Project
1. teacher's input quantity (e.g., immersion vs. non-immersion) and bilingual children's language development 2. teacher's input quality (e.g., codeswitching, questioning, commenting) and bilingual children's language development
Project
To identify which aspects of bilingual experience and proficiency would significantly affect children's social-emotional development
Project
To identify the significant child, home, and school factors in early heritage language and English language development