Risk for Poor Performance on a Language Screening Measure for Bilingual Preschoolers and Kindergarteners Purpose This study documents the risk for language impairment in Latino children who had different levels of exposure to English and Spanish. Method A total of 1,029 preschool- and kindergarten-age children were screened in the domains of semantics and morphosyntax in both Spanish and English. Parent report was ... Research Article
Research Article  |   November 01, 2011
Risk for Poor Performance on a Language Screening Measure for Bilingual Preschoolers and Kindergarteners
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Elizabeth D. Peña
    University of Texas at Austin
  • Ronald B. Gillam
    Utah State University, Logan
  • Lisa M. Bedore
    University of Texas at Austin
  • Thomas M. Bohman
    University of Texas at Austin
  • Correspondence to Elizabeth D. Peña: lizp@mail.utexas.edu
  • Editor and Associate Editor: Carol Scheffner Hammer
    Editor and Associate Editor: Carol Scheffner Hammer×
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Language Disorders / Research Articles
Research Article   |   November 01, 2011
Risk for Poor Performance on a Language Screening Measure for Bilingual Preschoolers and Kindergarteners
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2011, Vol. 20, 302-314. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2011/10-0020)
History: Received March 5, 2010 , Revised October 1, 2010 , Accepted July 3, 2011
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2011, Vol. 20, 302-314. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2011/10-0020)
History: Received March 5, 2010; Revised October 1, 2010; Accepted July 3, 2011
Web of Science® Times Cited: 23

Purpose This study documents the risk for language impairment in Latino children who had different levels of exposure to English and Spanish.

Method A total of 1,029 preschool- and kindergarten-age children were screened in the domains of semantics and morphosyntax in both Spanish and English. Parent report was used to document current exposure to and use of Spanish and English, as well as year of first exposure to English. Risk for language impairment was compared for language group, year of first English exposure, age, and mother’s education.

Results While bilingual children’s scores on each subtest were significantly lower compared to their functional monolingual peers, they were no more likely to fall in the at-risk range based on a combination of all 4 subtests. Maternal education and year of first English exposure were weakly associated with risk for language impairment but not with language group (via 5 levels of first and second language exposure).

Conclusions Prevalence of risk for language impairment when both languages are tested is not related to language group.

Acknowledgments
This research was funded by Grant R01DC007439 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. We are grateful to the families who participated in the study. We wish to thank all of the interviewers and testers for their assistance with collecting the data for this project and the school districts for allowing us access to collect the data. We especially thank Anita Mendez-Perez and Chad Bingham for their role in recruiting participants to the study.
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