Predictors of language proficiency in school-Age Spanish-English bilingual children with and without developmental language disorder

Kerry Danahy Ebert, Madeline Reilly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Children with developmental language disorder (DLD) have impairments in their language-learning abilities that may influence interactions with environmental opportunities to learn two languages. This study explores relationships between proficiency in L1 and L2 and a set of environmental and personal variables within a group of school-Age Spanish-English bilingual children with DLD and a group of typically-developing peers. Within each group, current usage in the home, length of L2 exposure, gender, maternal education, analytical reasoning, and number of L1 conversational partners were used to predict proficiency in each language. Results showed that home language environment, particularly home L2 usage, strongly predicted L1 proficiency but had less influence on the L2. Female gender predicted L1 skills in both groups, whereas analytical reasoning predicted both L1 and L2 but only for children with DLD. This study expands the limited literature on how children with DLD interact with their environment to learn two languages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)296-306
Number of pages11
JournalBilingualism
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 8 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Data for this study were collected with the support of National Institutes of Health Grant R03 DC013760, awarded to K. Ebert. We are grateful for the assistance of Kayla Greifenkamp and the research staff who supported original data collection. We also thank collaborating organizations, participants, and their families

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press.

Keywords

  • dual language learners
  • exposure
  • gender
  • language disorder
  • maternal education
  • outcomes

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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