Narrative language development of Persian-English bilingual children attending an immersion preschool

Bita Payesteh, Lizbeth H. Finestack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: This study aimed to provide a better understanding of the language development of bilingual children who attend a Persian immersion preschool in the United States, with a specific focus on their microstructural language skills derived from a story retell task. Methods: Participants included two groups of preschoolers: 14 Persian-English bilingual children who attended a Persian immersion preschool (2- through 5-years of age) and 16 monolingual English-speaking children who attended an English-only preschool (3- through 5-years of age). Participants completed a story retell task, and their parents completed a questionnaire regarding their child's language environment. Results: Analyses revealed that Persian-English bilingual children produced narratives that are comparable to their same-aged, English monolingual peers with regard to measures of microstructure. Furthermore, mean length of utterance in morphemes was significantly associated with parental language input, positively with Persian input, and negatively with English input. Conclusions: Findings demonstrate that Persian-English bilingual children who attend a Persian immersion preschool develop English to a level comparable to same-age English monolingual peers based on language produced during a story retell task.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-159
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Archives of Communication Disorders
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Data collection was funded by the University of Minnesota. We thank Layla Safinia, Ericka Lynch, and Gina Titus for their assistance with data processing. Our deepest gratitude to the two preschools for allowing us into their spaces and in working with their students, and to all of the participating children and their families, without which this work would not be possible.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Korean Association of Speech-Language Pathologists.

Keywords

  • Bilingualism
  • Immersion schools
  • Multilingualism
  • Persian-English bilinguals
  • Preschool language

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