Identification of facial expressions of emotion by 4-year-old children from different linguistic environments

Marie France Champoux-Larsson*, Alexandra S. Dylman, Helena Örnkloo, Francisco Esteves

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The current study investigated the identification of facial expressions of emotion, a socio-emotional task that has not previously been examined in children from different linguistic environments. Eighty-four 4-year-olds growing up in one of three linguistic environments (monolingual, dominant bilingual, balanced bilingual) performed a task where they identified facial expressions (happiness, anger, sadness, fear). Accuracy was analysed with a mixed-design analysis of variance using group (monolinguals, dominant bilinguals and balanced bilinguals) and emotion (happy, angry, sad and scared) as between- and within-group variables, respectively. Our results showed a main effect of emotion, but there was no main effect of group. This suggests that 4-year-olds’ linguistic environment does not affect performance on an identification of facial expressions task. This study was the first to investigate the identification of facial expressions of emotion in children coming from different linguistic environments. As the socio-emotional development of bilinguals is not yet well understood, especially regarding the visual perception of emotions, this study is amongst the first to contribute to this area of research. Our results are therefore of significance as a building block for additional studies that should explore the visual perception of emotions in other types of tasks and populations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1208-1219
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Bilingualism
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Emotion perception
  • Facial expression of emotion
  • Language exposure
  • Linguistic environment
  • Socio-emotional development


Dive into the research topics of 'Identification of facial expressions of emotion by 4-year-old children from different linguistic environments'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this