Honors Program


Date of this Version

Spring 3-2021

Document Type



Moore, S. 2021. Multilinguism and Acquisition of Early Numeracy Skills in Preschool-Aged Children. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Copyright Samantha Moore 2021.


Due to an increasing awareness of the inequalities of math skills of children who are entering the school system (Levine et.al., 2010) and the ever-increasing amount of children who are entering schools as dual language learners or English-as-a-second-language learners (Doabler et. al., 2017), it is important to assess the associations between bilingual language abilities and early math skills. It is well-established that early math skills are indicative of later academic, especially mathematic, achievement (Levine et. al., 2010). This led to the present analysis focusing on the assessment of the correlation between number of languages spoken and performance on early numeracy measures. One hundred and eight children of ages 3 years 0 months to 5 years 11 months were included in this study and their performance on several intelligence and numeracy scales and measures were assessed. Pearson’s correlations were performed to assess the relationship between the children’s language abilities and their performance on the measures. The hypothesis was that the children who had more than one language would perform better on these measures, due to increased cognitive abilities, including increased lexical and grammar skills (Hopp et. al., 2019) and improved language acquisition (Guglielmi, 2012) indicated by their acquisition of more than one language. There was no significant relationship found between early math skills and bilinguism. This was due, in part, to insufficient statistical power due to a small number (n=9) of participants who were bilingual.