The Korean Association for the Study of English Language and Linguistics

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Korean Journal of English Language and Linguistics - Vol. 21

[ Article ]
Korea Journal of English Language and Linguistics - Vol. 21, No. 0, pp.525-535
Abbreviation: KASELL
ISSN: 1598-1398 (Print) 2586-7474 (Online)
Received 30 May 2021 Revised 18 Jun 2021 Accepted 27 Jun 2021

How Does Early L2 Exposure Impact L1 Proficiency? Evidence from Tagalog-English Bilingual Children
Edward Jay M. Quinto ; Paula Enxi D.V. Pacheco ; Sophia Ysabelle R. Fallarme ; Leanne Margaret C. Garcia
(corresponding author) Associate Professor, School of Social Sciences and Education, Mapua University, Tel: +63-02-8247-5000 Ioc. 1303 (
Mapúa University, Manila, the Philippines (
Mapúa University, Manila, the Philippines (
Mapúa University, Manila, the Philippines (

Researchers, Young Innovators Research Center, Mapúa University, Manila, the Philippines

© 2021 KASELL All rights reserved
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Despite the rich potential for new information that bilingualism research can generate from bilingual countries in the Global South, such as the Philippines, very few bilingualism studies come from these contexts. Hence, this study aims to address this gap by examining how exposure to a second language (L2) impacts proficiency on the first (L1) among 100 Tagalog-English bilingual children aged 4 to 7 years in the Philippines. A language exposure assessment adapted from DeAnda et al.’s (2016) Language Exposure Assessment Tool (LEAT) was used to measure cumulative L2 exposure (English), while grammar, vocabulary, and spelling proficiency tests in Tagalog were used to measure L1 proficiency. Multiple and linear regression analyses showed that (a) overall L2 exposure does not impact overall L1 proficiency [F(1, 98) = 3.89; p = 0.051]; although (b) L2 exposure negatively influenced L1 vocabulary [F(1, 98) = 5.04; p = 0.027; β = -0.22] and grammar [F(1, 98) = 7.40; p = 0.007; β = -0.27], but not spelling [F(1, 98) = 0.09; p = 0.766; β = -0.03]. Thus, on the query regarding the influence of L2 exposure on L1 proficiency, evidence from Tagalog-English bilingual children showed that exposure to L2 English translated in negative outcomes on two measures of L1 skills, i.e., Tagalog vocabulary and Tagalog grammar.

Keywords: L2 exposure, L1 proficiency, bilingualism, Tagalog-English bilingual children

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