ERIC Number: EJ783393
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Reference Count: N/A
Phonological Working Memory in Spanish-English Bilingual Children with and without Specific Language Impairment
Girbau, Dolors; Schwartz, Richard G.
Journal of Communication Disorders, v41 n2 p124-145 Mar-Apr 2008
We examined the performance of sequential bilingual children with and without Specific Language Impairment (SLI), who had Spanish as an L1 and English as their L2, on an auditory non-word repetition task using Spanish phonotactic patterns. We also analyzed the accuracy with which this task distinguished these children (according to children's and mothers' performance). Eleven Hispanic children with SLI (M=8;10), 11 age-matched children with Typical Language Development (TLD, M=9;1), and 12 mothers, participated. They were living in New York City. The participants' repetition of 20 non-words (four at each of five syllable lengths) was scored for item and segmental accuracy, and error type. We examined the relations among children's non-word repetition performance, language scores, and, for a subset of the children, their mothers' non-word repetition performance. The percentage of correct non-words was significantly lower in children with SLI than in children with TLD. A length effect was found in 3-4-5 syllable non-words. Consonant substitutions and consonant omissions were significantly higher in children with SLI than with TLD. Both groups showed a similar relative pattern of more consonant than vowel errors. The children's non-word repetition performance correlated strongly with three of the four Spanish ITPA subtests we administered. The mothers of children with SLI performed more poorly than the mothers of the children with TLD, for the 20 non-words and the subset of 3-4-5 syllable non-words. Non-word repetition performance is an accurate identifier of language status in these groups (likelihood ratios are reported). The potential clinical application of this task in identifying SLI in bilingual Spanish-speaking children (on the basis of children's and mothers' performance) is discussed. Learning outcomes: In the future, with a set of norms, this task could be used as a screening test to help detecting children with SLI or at risk for SLI.
Descriptors: Syllables, Phonemes, Mothers, Language Impairments, Screening Tests, Memory, Spanish Speaking, Second Language Learning, Bilingualism, Phonology, English (Second Language), Task Analysis, Error Patterns, Hispanic Americans, Vowels
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
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Identifiers - Location: New York