A framework for crosslinguistic nonword repetition tests: Effects of bilingualism and socioeconomic status on children’s performance

Chiat, S. & Polišenská, K. (2016). A framework for crosslinguistic nonword repetition tests: Effects of bilingualism and socioeconomic status on children’s performance. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research(59), pp. 1179-1189. doi: 10.1044/2016_JSLHR-L-15-0293

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Abstract

Purpose: As a recognised indicator of language impairment, nonword repetition has unique potential for distinguishing language impairment from difficulties due to limited experience and knowledge of a language. This study focused on a new Crosslinguistic Nonword Repetition framework (CL-NWR) comprising three tests that vary the phonological characteristics of nonwords in the quest for an assessment that minimises effects of language experience and knowledge, and thereby maximises potential for assessing children with diverse linguistic experience.

Method: The English version of the CL-NWR was administered, with a test of receptive vocabulary, to 4-7-year-old typically developing monolingual and bilingual children (n=21 per group) from mid-high and low socioeconomic (SES) neighbourhoods.

Results: Receptive vocabulary was affected by both bilingualism and neighbourhood SES. In contrast, no effects of bilingualism or neighbourhood SES were found on two of our nonword repetition tests, while the most language-specific test yielded a borderline effect of neighbourhood SES but no effect of bilingualism.

Conclusions: Findings support the potential of the CL-NWR tests for assessing children regardless of lingual/socioeconomic background. They also highlight the importance of considering the characteristics of nonword targets, and investigating the compound influence of bilingualism and SES on different language assessments.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1103 Clinical Sciences, 1702 Cognitive Science, 2004 Linguistics
Subjects: R Medicine > RZ Other systems of medicine
Divisions: School of Health Sciences > Department of Language & Communication Science
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/15290

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