ERIC Number: EJ929046
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 27
Neuropsychological Effects of Second Language Exposure in Down Syndrome
Edgin, J. O.; Kumar, A.; Spano, G.; Nadel, L.
Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, v55 n3 p351-356 Mar 2011
Background: While it has been common practice to discourage second language learning in neurodevelopmental disorders involving language impairment, little is known about the effects of second language exposure (SLE) on broader cognitive function in these children. Past studies have not found differences on language tasks in children with Down syndrome (DS) and SLE. We expand on this work to determine the effects on the broader cognitive profile, including tests tapping deficits on neuropsychological measures of prefrontal and hippocampal function. Method: This study examined the specific cognitive effects of SLE in children with DS (aged 7-18 years). Children with SLE (n = 13: SLE predominantly Spanish) and children from monolingual homes (n = 28) were assessed on a standardised battery of neuropsychological tests developed for DS, the Arizona Cognitive Test Battery. The current exposure level to a language other than English in the SLE group was greater than 4 h per day on average. Results: No group differences were observed for any outcome, and level of exposure was also not linearly related to neuropsychological outcomes, several of which have been shown to be impaired in past work. Conclusion: There were no measurable effects of SLE on neuropsychological function in this sample of children with DS. Potential clinical implications of these findings are discussed.
Descriptors: Second Languages, Language Impairments, Down Syndrome, Second Language Learning, Cognitive Tests, Monolingualism, Bilingualism, Neuropsychology, Standardized Tests, Young Children, Adolescents, Measures (Individuals)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
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