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Vocabulary growth: Dual language learners at risk for language impairment

This research project examined the vocabulary growth patterns of typically developing (TD) Cantonese-English dual language learners (DLLs) and their peers who are at risk for language impairment. Method: Two studies were done. Study 1 examined the concurrent validity of a pilot vocabulary screening measure, the Kai Ming Vocabulary Test, that was designed for Cantonese-English preschool DLLs. Participants were 53 preschool children who learned Cantonese as their first language (L1) and English as a second language (L2). Their scores on the Kai Ming Vocabulary Test were examined in relation to their language sample measures, including number of different words and mean length of utterance, in L1 and in L2. Study 2 examined the vocabulary growth patterns of 24 TD Cantonese-English DLL preschoolers. and 24 DLLs who are at risk for language impairment (At-Risk group). Each child was tested 3 times during an academic year. Results: Results of Study 1 showed that children's vocabulary scores (n = 53) were significantly correlated with their language sample measures in each language. In Study 2, hierarchical linear models were used to compare the TD and At-Risk groups. Results showed that children in the At-Risk group had lower L1 receptive vocabulary scores and children in the TD group had relatively higher L2 expressive vocabulary gains. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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