Fred H. Genesee

Professor Emeritus

Stewart Biological Sciences Bldg.
Room N7/19, 398-6022
fred.genesee at

Research Areas

Cognition-Language-Perception, Developmental

Research Summary

Prof. Genesee's primary research interests focus on bilingualism and bilingual first language acquisition in normal and impaired populations.  In particular, his research examines the early stages of the acquisition of two languages with the view to (a) better understanding this form of language acquisition and (b) ascertaining the neuro-cognitive limits of the child's innate ability to acquire language.  He is also interested in second language acquisition in school and the modalities for effective acquisition in school contexts.

Selected References

Bilingual Acquisition

Paradis, J., Nicoladis, E., Crago, M., & Genesee, F. (2011). Bilingual children’s acquisition of past tense: A usage-based approach. Journal of Child Language, 38, 554-578.

Blais, M.J., Oshima-Takane, Y., Genesee, F., & Hirakawa, M. (2010).  Crosslinguistic influence on argument realization in Japanese-French bilinguals. Proceedings of the 34th Boston University Conference on Language Development, pp. 34-45. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press

Comeau, L., & Genesee, F. (2010). A comparison of bilingual and monolingual children’s conversational repairs. First Language, 30, 354-374.

Allen, S.E.M, Genesee, F.H, Fish, S.A, & Crago, M.B. (2009). Typological constraints on code mixing in Inuktitut-English bilingual adults. In M-A. Mahieu  & N. Tersis (Eds.), Variations on polysynthesis: The Eskaleut languages, pp.273-306. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Zvaigzne, M., Oshima-Takane, Y., Groleau, P., Nakamura, K., & Genesee, F. (2008).  The function of children’s iconic co-speech gestures: A study with Japanese-French bilinguals and French monolinguals. Proceedings of 32nd Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development. 598-609Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.

Genesee, F. (2008, Autumn). Bilingual first language acquisition: Evidence from Montreal. Diversité Urbaine, 9-26.

Comeau, L., Genesee, F., & Mendelson, M. (2007) Bilingual children's repairs of breakdowns in communication.  Journal of Child Language, 34, 159-174.

Paradis, J., Crago, M., & Genesee, F. (2006). Domain-general versus domain-specific accounts of specific language impairment: Evidence from bilingual children’s acquisition of object pronouns. Language Acquisition, 13(1), 33-62.

Zwanziger, E., Allen, S.E.M., & Genesee, F. (2005). Crosslinguistic influence in bilingual acquisition.  Journal of Child Language, 32, 893-910.

Sundara, M., Polka, L., & Genesee, F. (2005).  Language-experience facilitates discrimination of /d-D / in monolingual and bilingual acquisition of English. Cognition, 100: 1-20.

Comeau, L., Genesee, F., & Lapaquette, L. (2003).  The modeling hypothesis and child bilingual code-mixing. International Journal of Bilingualism, 7, 113-126.

Paradis, J., Crago, M., Genesee, F., & Rice, M. (2003).  Bilingual children with specific language impairment: How do they compare with their monolingual peers?  Journal of  Speech, Language and Hearing Research, 46: 113-127.

Maneva, B., & Genesee, F. (2002).  Bilingual babbling: Evidence for language differentiation in dual language acquisition. In B. Skarabela,  S. Fish, & A. H.-J. Do (Eds). The Proceedings of the 26th Boston University Conference on Language Development, pp. 383-392. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.

Paradis, J., Nicoladis, E., & Genesee, F. (2000).  Early emergence of structural constraints on code-mixing: Evidence from English bilingual children. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 3: 245-261.

Genesee, F., Boivin, I., & Nicoladis, E. (1996).  Talking with strangers:  A study of bilingual children's communicative competence.  Applied Psycholinguistics, 17, 427-442.

Immersion and Dual Language Education:

Erdos, C., Genesee, F., Savage, R., & Haigh, C. (2012). Predicting risk for oral and written language learning difficulties in students educated in a second language. Applied Psycholinguistics, 1-28. doi: 10.1017/S0142716412000422

Haigh, C. A., Savage, R., Erdos, C., & Genesee, F. (2011). The role of phoneme and onset-rime awareness in second language reading acquisition. Journal of Research in Reading, 34(1), 94-113. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9817.2010.01475.x 

Erdos, C., Genesee, F., Savage, R., & Haigh, C. (2011). Individual differences in second language reading outcomes. International Journal of Bilingualism, 15(1), 3-25.

Genesee, F., & Jared, D. (2008).  Literacy development in early French immersion programs. Canadian Psychologist, 49(2), 140-147.

Genesee, F. (2007). French immersion and at-risk students: A review of research findings. Canadian Modern Language Review, 63, 655-688.

Genesee, F., & Lindholm-Leary, K. (2007). Dual language education in Canada and the United States. In J. Cummins & N. Hornberger (Eds), Encyclopedia of Language and Education (2nd Edit.). New York: Springer, pp. 253-266.

Genesee, F., & Christian, D. (2007).  Programs for teaching English language learners. In A. Rosebery, B. Warren (Eds.), Teaching Science to English Language Learners, pp. 131-147. Washington, DC: National Science Foundation. 

Genesee, F., Geva, E., Dressler, C., & Kamil, M. (2006).  Synthesis: Cross-linguistic relationships, Chapter 6.  In D. August & T. Shanahan (Eds), Developing literacy in second language learners. Report of the National Literacy Panel on Minority-Language Children and Youth, pp.153-174. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Geva, E., & Genesee, F. (2006). First-language oral proficiency and second-language literacy, Chapter 8. In D. August & T. Shanahan (Eds), Developing literacy in second language learners. Report of the National Literacy Panel on Minority-Language Children and Youth, pp. 185-196. Mahwah, NJ:  Lawrence Erlbaum.

Riches, C., & Genesee, F. (2006). Cross-linguistic and cross-modal aspects of literacy development. In F. Genesee, K. Lindholm-Leary, W. Saunders, & D. Christian, D. Educating English language learners: A synthesis of research evidence (pp. 64-108).  NY: Cambridge University Press.

Genesee, F., & Riches, C. (2006). Instructional issues in literacy development. In F. Genesee, K. Lindholm-Leary, W. Saunders, & D. Christian, D.   Educating English language learners: A synthesis of research evidence (pp. 109-175). NY: Cambridge University Press.

Genesee, F. , & Gandara, P. (1999).  Bilingual education programs:  A cross-national perspective.  Journal of Social Issues, 55, 665-685.

Genesee, F. & Cloud, N. (1998). Multilingualism is basic. Educational Leadership, 55: 62-65.

Genesee, F. (2004).  What do we know about bilingual education for majority language students. In T.K. Bhatia & W. Ritchie (Eds.), Handbook of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism (pp. 547-576). Malden, MA: Blackwell.

Internationally-Adopted Children:

Pierce, L., Genesee, F., & Paradis, J. (in press). Acquisition of English grammatical morphology by internationally-adopted children from China. Journal of Child Language. DOI:

Delcenserie, A., Genesee, F., & Gauthier, K. (in press). Language abilities of internationally-adopted children from China during the early school years. Applied Psycholinguistics.  

Gauthier, K., Genesee, F. & Kasparian, K. (in press). Acquisition of complement clitics and tense morphology in internationally-adopted children acquiring French. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition.

Gauthier, K., Genesee, F., DuBois, M.E., & Kasparian, K. (2011). Communication patterns between internationally-adopted children and their mothers: Implications for language development. Applied Psycholinguistics, 1-23. 

Gauthier, K. & Genesee, F. (2011). Language development in internationally-adopted children: A special case of early second language learning. Child Development, 82(2), 1-15.

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Updated: June 2013
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