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Bilingual children and language development

Lisa J White, Daryl B Greenfield
A growing percentage of low-income children in the United States come from Spanish-speaking homes and are dual language learners (DLLs). Recent research shows that bilingual children, compared to monolinguals, have enhanced executive functioning (EF), a set of foundational cognitive skills that predict higher social-emotional competence and academic achievement in preschool and beyond. Although this association has been found among children of different backgrounds, no study to date has assessed whether bilingual Latino preschoolers from low-income backgrounds have higher EF than their monolingual peers and their emerging bilingual peers, respectively...
October 23, 2016: Developmental Science
Shula Chiat, Kamila Polišenská
Purpose: As a recognized indicator of language impairment, nonword repetition has unique potential for distinguishing language impairment from difficulties due to limited experience and knowledge of a language. This study focused on a new Crosslinguistic Nonword Repetition framework, comprising 3 tests that vary the phonological characteristics of nonwords, in the quest for an assessment that minimizes effects of language experience and knowledge and thereby maximizes potential for assessing children with diverse linguistic experience...
October 17, 2016: Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research: JSLHR
Monica E Ellwood-Lowe, Matthew D Sacchet, Ian H Gotlib
In the nascent field of the cognitive neuroscience of socioeconomic status (SES), researchers are using neuroimaging to examine how growing up in poverty affects children's neurocognitive development, particularly their language abilities. In this review we highlight difficulties inherent in the frequent use of reverse inference to interpret SES-related abnormalities in brain regions that support language. While there is growing evidence suggesting that SES moderates children's developing brain structure and function, no studies to date have elucidated explicitly how these neural findings are related to variations in children's language abilities, or precisely what it is about SES that underlies or contributes to these differences...
October 3, 2016: Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience
Xiuli Tong, Xinjie He, S Hélène Deacon
Languages differ considerably in how they use prosodic features, or variations in pitch, duration, and intensity, to distinguish one word from another. Prosodic features include lexical tone in Chinese and lexical stress in English. Recent cross-sectional studies show a surprising result that Mandarin Chinese tone sensitivity is related to Mandarin-English bilingual children's English word reading. This study explores the mechanism underlying this relation by testing two explanations of these effects: the prosodic hypothesis and segmental phonological awareness transfer...
October 13, 2016: Memory & Cognition
Josephine Ross, Alissa Melinger
When bilinguals speak, both fluent language systems become activated in parallel and exert an influence on speech production. As a consequence of maintaining separation between the two linguistic systems, bilinguals are purported to develop enhanced executive control functioning. Like bilinguals, individuals who speak two dialects must also maintain separation between two linguistic systems, albeit to a lesser degree. Across three tests of executive function, we compared bilingual and bidialectal children's performance to that of a monolingual control group...
September 29, 2016: Developmental Science
Lian van Berkel-van Hoof, Daan Hermans, Harry Knoors, Ludo Verhoeven
BACKGROUND: Augmentative signs may facilitate word learning in children with vocabulary difficulties, for example, children who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing (DHH) and children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI). Despite the fact that augmentative signs may aid second language learning in populations with a typical language development, empirical evidence in favor of this claim is lacking. AIMS: We aim to investigate whether augmentative signs facilitate word learning for DHH children, children with SLI, and typically developing (TD) children...
September 23, 2016: Research in Developmental Disabilities
Anny P Castilla-Earls, María Adelaida Restrepo, Ana Teresa Perez-Leroux, Shelley Gray, Paul Holmes, Daniel Gail, Ziqiang Chen
This study examines the interaction between language impairment and different levels of bilingual proficiency. Specifically, we explore the potential of articles and direct object pronouns as clinical markers of primary language impairment (PLI) in bilingual Spanish-speaking children. The study compared children with PLI and typically developing children (TD) matched on age, English language proficiency, and mother's education level. Two types of bilinguals were targeted: Spanish-dominant children with intermediate English proficiency (asymmetrical bilinguals, AsyB), and near-balanced bilinguals (BIL)...
September 2016: Applied Psycholinguistics
Mila Schwartz, Haitham Taha, Hanan Assad, Ferdos Khamaisi, Zohar Eviatar
PURPOSE: The purpose of the present study was to investigate the role of dual language development and cross-linguistic influence on morphological awareness in young bilinguals' first language (L1) and second language (L2). We examined whether (a) the bilingual children (L1/L2 Arabic and L1/L2 Hebrew) precede their monolingual Hebrew- or Arabic-speaking peers in L1 and L2 morphological awareness, and (b) 1 Semitic language (Arabic) has cross-linguistic influence on another Semitic language (Hebrew) in morphological awareness...
August 1, 2016: Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research: JSLHR
Elizabeth Kay-Raining Bird, Natacha Trudeau, Ann Sutton
Children with DD must and do become bilingual, but the research reported in this special issue raises questions about equitable access to bilingual opportunities and provision of appropriate supports to ensure optimal bilingual growth in these children. The purpose of the present article was to apply the findings from our international collaboration to inform policy and practice on bilingualism in children with developmental disabilities (DD). To do this, we first overview the research presented in detail in other articles of this special issue: a narrative literature review, a review of site policies and practices related to special education and language education, a qualitative analysis of key informant interviews, and a quantitative analysis of surveys of practitioners...
July 25, 2016: Journal of Communication Disorders
Elizabeth Kay-Raining Bird, Fred Genesee, Ludo Verhoeven
Children with developmental disabilities (DD) often need and sometimes opt to become bilingual. The context for bilingual acquisition varies considerably and can impact outcomes. In this first article of the special issue, we review research on the timing and amount of bilingual exposure and outcomes of either direct language intervention or educational placements in three groups of children with DD: Specific Language Impairment (SLI), Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), and Down syndrome (DS). Children with SLI have been studied more than the other two groups...
July 18, 2016: Journal of Communication Disorders
Paola Bonifacci, Valentina Tobia, Luca Bernabini, Gian Marco Marzocchi
Many studies have suggested that the concept of "number" is relatively independent from linguistic skills, although an increasing number of studies suggest that language abilities may play a pivotal role in the development of arithmetic skills. The condition of bilingualism can offer a unique perspective into the role of linguistic competence in numerical development. The present study was aimed at evaluating the relationship between language skills and early numeracy through a multilevel investigation in monolingual and bilingual minority children attending preschool...
2016: Frontiers in Psychology
Boji Pak-Wing Lam, Li Sheng
PURPOSE: Current understanding about the effect of first language (L1) background on morphological awareness (MA) development in those who are bilingual is largely limited to school-aged second-language learners. This study examined the development of MA in bilingual Mandarin-English (ManEngBi) and Spanish-English (SpaEngBi) children ages 4 to 7 years, whose L1 is predominated by compounding and derivation, respectively. METHOD: We targeted specific word formation rules that develop within different developmental time frames...
August 1, 2016: Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research: JSLHR
Ferenc Bunta, C Elizabeth Goodin-Mayeda, Amanda Procter, Arturo Hernandez
PURPOSE: This study focuses on stop voicing differentiation in bilingual children with normal hearing (NH) and their bilingual peers with hearing loss who use cochlear implants (CIs). METHOD: Twenty-two bilingual children participated in our study (11 with NH, M age = 5;1 [years;months], and 11 with CIs, M hearing age = 5;1). The groups were matched on hearing age and a range of demographic variables. Single-word picture elicitation was used with word-initial singleton stop consonants...
August 1, 2016: Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research: JSLHR
Johanne Paradis, Ruiting Jia
Bilingual children experience more variation in their language environment than monolingual children and this impacts their rate of language development with respect to monolinguals. How long it takes for bilingual children learning English as a second language (L2) to display similar abilities to monolingual age-peers has been estimated to be 4-6 years, but conflicting findings suggest that even 6 years in school is not enough. Most studies on long-term L2 development have focused on just one linguistic sub-domain, vocabulary, and have not included multiple individual difference factors...
June 19, 2016: Developmental Science
Anneke P Potgieter
BACKGROUND: There is a dearth of normative data on linguistic development among child speakers of Southern African languages, especially in the case of the multilingual children who constitute the largest part of this population. This inevitably impacts on the accuracy of developmental assessments of such speakers. Already negative lay opinion on the effect of early multilingualism on language development rates could be exacerbated by the lack of developmental data, ultimately affecting choices regarding home and school language policies...
2016: South African Journal of Communication Disorders. die Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif Vir Kommunikasieafwykings
Virginia A Marchman, Lucía Z Martínez, Nereyda Hurtado, Theres Grüter, Anne Fernald
In research on language development by bilingual children, the early language environment is commonly characterized in terms of the relative amount of exposure a child gets to each language based on parent report. Little is known about how absolute measures of child-directed speech in two languages relate to language growth. In this study of 3-year-old Spanish-English bilinguals (n = 18), traditional parent-report estimates of exposure were compared to measures of the number of Spanish and English words children heard during naturalistic audio recordings...
May 19, 2016: Developmental Science
Ketty Holmström, Eva-Kristina Salameh, Ulrika Nettelbladt, Annika Dahlgren Sandberg
PURPOSE: This study aimed to describe the development of Arabic and Swedish lexical organisation in bilingual children with language impairment (BLI). METHOD: Lexical organisation was assessed through word associations in 10 BLI and 10 bilingual children with typical development (BTD), aged 6;2-8;0 years, matched for age and gender. The participants were assessed twice, with a 1-year interval. Word associations were coded as paradigmatic, syntagmatic, phonological, other and no answer...
April 2016: International Journal of Speech-language Pathology
Weifeng Han, Chris Brebner, Sue McAllister
PURPOSE: Language assessment of bilingual/bidialectal children can be complex. This is particularly true for speakers from China, who are likely to be bilingual and bidialectal at the same time. There has been, however, a lack of understanding of the diversity of Chinese languages as well as data on bidialectal children's L1 syntactic development and the development of L1 bidialectal children's L2 acquisition. METHOD: This paper provides information on the complexity of the language system for people from China...
April 2016: International Journal of Speech-language Pathology
Sharon Baker, Jessica Scott
For decades , research has focused on American Sign Language/English bilingual education for d/Deaf and hard of hearing students whose families used English or ASL. However, a growing population of d/Dhh children come from households where languages other than English (e.g., Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese) are used. In a longitudinal case study, the authors document the K-12 educational pathway of a deaf Latina student. Anecdotal records, semistructured interviews, assessment data, and document reviews of the participant's school and clinical records are used to develop the case study...
2016: American Annals of the Deaf
Lianna Pizzo
The author examines the theory and research relevant to educating d/Deaf and Hard of Hearing Multilingual Learners (DMLs). There is minimal research on this population, yet a synthesis of related theory, research, and practice on spoken-language bilinguals can be used to add to the body of knowledge on these learners. Specifically, the author reports on three major areas: (a) population characteristics of DMLs, (b) theories relevant to understanding the language development of DMLs, and (c) considerations for programs in designing and implementing educational services for DMLs...
2016: American Annals of the Deaf
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