Language Exposure in Bilingual Toddlers: Performance on Nonword Repetition and Lexical Tasks Purpose The amount of language exposure is correlated with bilingual lexical development, but findings are mixed on how exposure relates to nonword repetition (NWR), a complex skill involving both short-term processing and long-term vocabulary knowledge. We extend previous work to a younger age group by investigating the role of exposure ... Research Article
Research Article  |   May 01, 2015
Language Exposure in Bilingual Toddlers: Performance on Nonword Repetition and Lexical Tasks
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Myrto Brandeker
    McGill University and Centre interdisciplinaire de recherche en réadaptation du Montréal métropolitain (CRIR), Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • Elin Thordardottir
    McGill University and Centre interdisciplinaire de recherche en réadaptation du Montréal métropolitain (CRIR), Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Myrto Brandeker: myrto.brandeker@mail.mcgill.ca
  • Editor: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Associate Editor: Barbara Rodriguez
    Associate Editor: Barbara Rodriguez×
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Research Articles
Research Article   |   May 01, 2015
Language Exposure in Bilingual Toddlers: Performance on Nonword Repetition and Lexical Tasks
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2015, Vol. 24, 126-138. doi:10.1044/2015_AJSLP-13-0106
History: Received August 20, 2013 , Revised January 30, 2014 , Accepted February 5, 2015
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2015, Vol. 24, 126-138. doi:10.1044/2015_AJSLP-13-0106
History: Received August 20, 2013; Revised January 30, 2014; Accepted February 5, 2015
Web of Science® Times Cited: 3

Purpose The amount of language exposure is correlated with bilingual lexical development, but findings are mixed on how exposure relates to nonword repetition (NWR), a complex skill involving both short-term processing and long-term vocabulary knowledge. We extend previous work to a younger age group by investigating the role of exposure on NWR versus vocabulary, along with the effect of item construction and scoring.

Method Sixty typically developing children (ages 2;5–3;6[years;months]) were assessed for NWR and receptive and expressive vocabulary. Participants ranged in amount of previous exposure to English and French from 0% to 100% and were tested in both languages if able to participate, even with very limited exposure (28 completed testing in both languages, 11 completed testing in English only, 21 completed testing in French only).

Results Correlational analyses showed moderate to strong associations between the amount of exposure and vocabulary in that language, whereas the relationship of exposure with NWR was weak or nonsignificant, depending on scoring method. NWR correlated with vocabulary in English only. Performance on NWR was affected by nonword length but unaffected by wordlikeness.

Conclusions NWR and vocabulary were differently related to language exposure. The underlying mechanisms of NWR at this age appeared mainly reliant on short-term processes, in contrast to long-term vocabulary knowledge.

Acknowledgments
This study was supported by a Standard Research grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), awarded to the second author. Thanks are extended to the children and parents who participated in this study and to our research assistants.
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