The aim of the proposed project is to develop an online open access developmental word database, BiLex, for bilingual children learning Greek or English as an additional language. Its template will be HelexKids, the online word database for Greek 6-12 years old monolingual children.
Word databases for bilingual children are not available, and researchers, educators and writers of textbooks rely on databases for monolinguals. To fill this gap we develop BiLex, a bilingual online open access database for 5-13-year-old Greek-English bilingual children. BiLex is constructed rigorously following the same methodology that established researchers in the field have followed. HelexKids (www.helexkids.org), developed by our research team, is an example, the first such database for Greek children.
BiLex is the first database compiled from textbooks used in bilingual education and provides word translations, pronunciations, spelling and psycholinguistic values (e.g. frequency of word occurrences, in how many different contexts each word appears and age of acquisition among others). There is no other such database available for bilingual children, and it will provide the basis for the development of teaching and research material.
BiLex is significant for researchers to study bilingual literacy development, for educators to select age-appropriate words for teaching and for bilingual parents and children to practice the second language. It comes in a period where there is increasing interest in bilingualism and bilingual education. As it is an online tool it can be used with all electronic means (tablets and laptops) in the classroom while students have the language lesson (either English for second language learners or learning a second language).
BiLex will have worldwide reach and will be accessed by a wide range of users increasing its international impact.