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2016 - American Sociological Association Annual Meeting Pages: unavailable || Words: unavailable || 
1. LIU, Mengyu. "Do Language Skills Pay Off? Earnings Returns to English Skill and Mandarin Skill in Hong Kong" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Washington State Convention Center, Seattle, WA, Aug 17, 2016 Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2018-01-22 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This paper analyzes earnings returns to English skill and Mandarin skill in Hong Kong. Combining two datasets from Hong Kong and using OLS method, I find that controlling other factors, people who can speak English enjoy 12.1 percent higher monthly income than those who cannot. Comparatively, Mandarin skill dose not bring high earnings returns, only 1.6 percent. Then I concentrate on English skill and find the heterogeneity of premium for English skill in gender, education, occupation and cohort. Results from Brown et al decomposition reveal that between-occupation differentials are dominant in total differentials of monthly income between people with English skill and people without English skill, indicating the language exclusion based on English. Furthermore, family background has a significant effect on individuals’ English proficiency, the mechanism of which is through personal educational attainment. These findings shed light on the role of language skills in income inequality and social reproduction.

2015 - Accelerate Learning: Racing into the Future - AECT Words: 71 words || 
2. Lilley, Misty. "P02 CLT- [NR] Kentucky Adult Education Employability Skills (Entry-Level Soft Skills) Pilot to Accelerate Learning for the 21st Century U.S. Workforce" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Accelerate Learning: Racing into the Future - AECT, Hyatt Regency, Indianapolis, Indiana, Nov 03, 2015 <Not Available>. 2018-01-22 <>
Publication Type: Poster Sessions
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Adult Basic Education (ABE) centers around the country indicate that many adult learners between the ages of 18-64 are lacking employability skills (entry-level soft skills) required for the 21st century U.S. workforce. Adult educators from eleven Kentucky Adult Education (KYAE) centers will participate in a pilot. They will learn how entry-level soft skills can be integrated into the curriculum and instruction with the use of educational gaming and simulation.

2015 - SRCD Biennial Meeting Pages: unavailable || Words: 116 words || 
3. Khan, Kiren. and Nelson, Keith. "The Link Between Emerging Cognitive Skills and Language Skills in Preschoolers" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the SRCD Biennial Meeting, Pennsylvania Convention Center and the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown Hotel, Philadelphia, PA, Mar 19, 2015 <Not Available>. 2018-01-22 <>
Publication Type: Individual Poster
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: According to a Dynamic Systems perspective (Miyake & Shah, 1999; Nelson et al., 2004; Nelson & Arkenberg, 2008; Thelen & Smith, 2006; Sporns, 2011), children who make rapid progress in their language abilities relative to their peers are expected to be more advanced in terms of their cognitive development –particularly in terms of the kinds of complex cognitive processes that they can dynamically mobilize. This prediction is based on the number of component processes that need to be successfully coordinated when, for example, producing a complex narrative. In this case, the component processes may include: setting the goal of linking and integrating all of the story elements in a coherent manner (Goldman, Graesser, & van den Broek, 1999; Trabasso & Nickels, 1985), retrieving the appropriate semantic information, syntactic structures and morphological features that would express the causal links between various story elements and indicate characters motivations, reactions, and perspectives, as well as monitoring and flexibly adjusting the narrative while it is being produced. Importantly, not only do these processes need to be coordinated into one coherent system, but they also need to be deployed online at incredibly rapid speed for coherent production or comprehension of narratives.

We include results of a recent study examined how a differentiated set of multiple cognitive skills, including phonological short term working memory, and executive functions (EF) including inhibitory control processes, speeded processing, planning, goal setting and management, goal-directed search and retrieval, monitoring, shifting, coordination, and attentional flexibility pattern together in their contributions to preschool aged children’s language abilities. The participants in the current study include 84 typically developing children between the ages of 3.5 and 6 years. A stepwise regression using a backward elimination approach was used to identify the best models accounting for the most significant amount of variance in language outcomes. Results indicate that both narrative production and comprehension (assessed by the Bus Story task; Renfrew, 1997) by these children are supported by the more complex EF skills involved in the Dimensional Change Card Sorting task and by a "verbal fluency" semantic category production task (the two most complex tasks in our cognitive assessment battery). This is in contrast to the lack of predictive power of both of these complex EF tasks when examining children's individual variation in vocabulary production and comprehension. Tasks that required fewer than 5 component processes, and were therefore categorized as relatively “simple” EF tasks, instead emerged as predictors for vocabulary production and comprehension. Tables 1 & 2 contrast regression results for narrative and vocabulary production.

Our results indicate that more sophisticated narrative skills were associated with stronger foundations of advanced EF skills, and that performance in other language domains (such as vocabulary) was not accounted for by these higher order EF skills. Future theoretical and empirical work is needed to more fully understand how various conditions, including levels of cognitive readiness and functional connectivity, as well as social, motivational, and contextual factors are related to the development of language skills in children.

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