Research  |   May 2008
Oral and Written Language Development of Children Adopted From China
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Kathleen A. Scott
    Temple University, Philadelphia
  • Jenny A. Roberts
    Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY
  • Rena Krakow
    Temple University, Philadelphia
  • Contact author: Kathleen A. Scott, who is now at Hofstra University, 108 Davison Hall, Hempstead, NY 11549-1100. E-mail: kathleen.scott@hofstra.edu.
Development / School-Based Settings / International & Global / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions
Research   |   May 2008
Oral and Written Language Development of Children Adopted From China
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology May 2008, Vol.17, 150-160. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2008/015)
History: Accepted 02 Sep 2007 , Received 20 Sep 2006 , Revised 22 Jan 2007
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology May 2008, Vol.17, 150-160. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2008/015)
History: Accepted 02 Sep 2007 , Received 20 Sep 2006 , Revised 22 Jan 2007

Purpose: The sharp increase in the number of international adoptions in the United States has prompted a heightened interest in the language development of internationally adopted children. Although recent studies have investigated the early language development of adoptees, little is known about the school-age language and literacy skills of internationally adopted children. The focus of this study was the oral and written language skills of school-age adoptees from China.

Method: The participants were 24 children between the ages of 7;0 (years;months) and 8;8. Oral and written language skills were assessed using standardized measures and a narrative retell task.

Results: As a group, the majority of children exhibited scores in the average to above average range for all oral and written standardized language measures. Narrative analysis indicated that an increase in the number of grammatical errors was moderately correlated with lower reading comprehension scores. Age at adoption was negatively correlated with several measures, including a narrative measure of grammatical errors per T-unit.

Conclusion: These findings provide an encouraging outlook on the oral and written language outcomes of internationally adopted children from China through the early elementary grades. Moreover, these findings support earlier research that speaks to the resiliency and robustness of language acquisition abilities in children.

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