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ERIC Number: EJ1015635
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Aug
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1058-0360
Lexical Diversity and Omission Errors as Predictors of Language Ability in the Narratives of Sequential Spanish-English Bilinguals: A Cross-Language Comparison
Jacobson, Peggy F.; Walden, Patrick R.
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, v22 n3 p554-565 Aug 2013
Purpose: This study explored the utility of language sample analysis for evaluating language ability in school-age Spanish-English sequential bilingual children. Specifically, the relative potential of lexical diversity and word/morpheme omission as predictors of typical or atypical language status was evaluated. Method: Narrative samples were obtained from 48 bilingual children in both of their languages using the suggested narrative retell protocol and coding conventions as per Systematic Analysis of Language Transcripts (SALT; Miller & Iglesias, 2008) software. An additional lexical diversity measure, VocD, was also calculated. A series of logistical hierarchical regressions explored the utility of the number of different words, VocD statistic, and word and morpheme omissions in each language for predicting language status. Results: Omission errors turned out to be the best predictors of bilingual language impairment at all ages, and this held true across languages. Although lexical diversity measures did not predict typical or atypical language status, the measures were significantly related to oral language proficiency in English and Spanish. Conclusion: The results underscore the significance of omission errors in bilingual language impairment while simultaneously revealing the limitations of lexical diversity measures as indicators of impairment. The relationship between lexical diversity and oral language proficiency highlights the importance of considering relative language proficiency in bilingual assessment. (Contains 4 tables and 1 figure.)
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). 10801 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852. Tel: 800-638-8255; Fax: 301-571-0457; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Middle Schools; Junior High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Test of Nonverbal Intelligence; Woodcock Munoz Language Survey
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A