Effect of Twinning on Chinese and English Vocabulary Knowledge

Simpson W.L. Wong, Him Cheung*, Mo Zheng, Xiujie Yang, Catherine McBride, Connie Suk Han Ho, Judy Sze Man Leung, Bonnie Wing Yin Chow, Mary Miu Yee Waye

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Vocabulary knowledge was tested in a native (Cantonese-Chinese) and foreign (English) language in 150 twins and 150 singletons aged 6–11 years, matched on age, gender, grade level, nonverbal intelligence, parents’ education, family income, and number of siblings and household members. The singletons clearly outperformed the twins on the native vocabulary, but this “twinning effect” was much less noticeable for the foreign vocabulary. The effect on English vocabulary was further reduced after exposure to English at home was controlled. Given that these participants learned most of their English in school rather than home, the present findings support the notion that the twinning effect is associated with increased competition for family interaction in twins compared with singletons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1886-1897
Number of pages12
JournalChild Development
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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