Early%20language%20and%20literacy%20development%20in%20dual%20language%20learners:%20Implications%20for%20service%20delivery - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Early language and literacy development in dual language learners: Implications for service delivery Luc a I. M ndez. M.S., CCC-SLP University of North Carolina ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Early%20language%20and%20literacy%20development%20in%20dual%20language%20learners:%20Implications%20for%20service%20delivery

  • Early language and literacy development in dual
    language learners Implications for service
  • Lucía I. Méndez. M.S., CCC-SLP
  • University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
  • 7/09

  • Review some recent research findings on bilingual
    language development pertinent to
  • Diagnosis
  • Treatment
  • Discuss their potential to enhance service
    provision to DLL
  • Suggestions, resources/strategies for serving DLL

Demographic trends
  • Hispanics are one of the largest and fastest
    growing minority groups in the US
  • 45.5 million15 total U.S. population as of 2007
  • In NC, grew by 55 from 2000 to 2006 (US Census
    Bureau 2007)
  • NC is one of the states with highest growth in
    young children of immigrants
  • 153 vs. 39 US average
  • ¾ of these children are US-born citizens

Causes for concern
  • Over-representation of DLL in special education
    (NCCREST 2009)
  • Due to misidentification?
  • Grave shortage of qualified bilingual personnel
  • Limited parental input during decision making
    process due to linguistic/cultural barriers
    (Ramirez 2003)
  • Large reading achievement gap between many DLL
    and monolingual (English-only) students (August
    et al. 2005)

  • DLL may be placed incorrectly in special
    education programs
  • Communicational, developmental/educational needs
    may not be adequately addressed
  • Most effective language of instruction/educational
    options may not be utilized
  • May place them at risk for communication,
    cognitive and literacy delays

  • Diagnostics
  • How do we determine what is typical/atypical
    development in DLL?
  • What type of protocols/assessment battery do we
  • Treatment/instruction
  • What language do I use?
  • Does bilingualism interfere with
    language/literacy development in DLL children?

  • Resources
  • What resources are available?
  • How can I, as a monolingual service provider, go
    about identifying and locating resources in my

To best serve this population
  • Increase our understanding of the needs/strengths
    of the diverse population we serve
  • Augment our competencies
  • Clinical/instructional
  • Linguistic
  • Cultural
  • Modify our service delivery model

Cultural Competency
  • Despite the existence of common cultural
    parameters, differences exist
  • Between individuals from different cultures
  • Among individuals from the same culture
  • These differences result in every individual
    being distinct in some way.
  • The notion that only individuals from a different
    race or ethnicity are culturally diverse is false
  • In fact, every child, and every professional, is
    culturally diverse in one way or another
  • (Why is yogurt good for you? Because it has live
    cultures, MMI Board, ASHA 2006)

What is Bilingualism?
  • There appears to be no consensus on the
    definition of bilingualism
  • Someone who has near-native proficiency in two
  • Someone who understands and speaks a bit of
    another language?
  • Someone who can order beer in another language?

  • Not all bilinguals are the same
  • Bilinguals are not a homogeneous linguistic group
  • Marked individual differences exist in the way
    that different bilinguals acquire language

  • The process is a dynamic, not static
  • It involves change.
  • Differences between bilinguals related to
  • Intention (Why)
  • Time (When)
  • Level of proficiency (How much)

  • Circumstantial bilinguals
  • Life demands that they acquire another language
  • Most bilingual schoolchildren in the US
  • Elective bilinguals
  • Actively choose to learn another language
  • Foreign language class

  • Refers to when the two languages were acquired
  • Simultaneous bilinguals acquire two languages
    from birth, usually before age 3
  • Sequential bilinguals learn a second language
    (usually at school) after age 3, after acquiring
    the first one (at home)
  • Most ESL, limited English proficiency students
    in the U.S.

Bilingual Language Acquisition
  • Research on bilingual language acquisition was
    historically characterized by the study of
  • A simultaneous language acquisition model, not
  • Butmost children in USA preschools are
    sequential bilinguals
  • Case studies that described individual children
  • Little population-based, systematic study of
    bilinguals in large groups

Theories of Bilingual LA
  • The unitary language system hypothesis (Leopold,
    1949 Volterra Taeschner, 1978)
  • Children exposed to two languages from birth go
    through initial stages when the languages are not

Unitary Language System Hypothesis
  • Undifferentiated
  • First stage
  • Child has one lexical and syntactic system which
    includes words from both languages
  • Child uses items of both languages
    indiscriminately in all contexts of communication

Unitary Language System Hypothesis
  • Second stage
  • The child distinguishes two different
    lexicons/vocabularies, but
  • Still applies the same grammatical rules to both
  • Third stage (after age three)
  • Full differentiation occurs the child uses two
    differentiated languages

Lack of Early Language Differentiation
  • Suggested that simultaneous bilinguals experience
    confusion between languages
  • Mixing Words from one language into the other
    when they communicate
  • Switching from one language into the other
    perhaps because they could not keep their
    languages straight

Concerns with bilingual language acquisition
  • Perceived as exceeding the childs innate
    cognitive ability to learn language
  • Potentially responsible for
  • Delays, reduced levels of language proficiency
  • Impaired cognitive and linguistic development
    (Bialystok 2001)
  • Academic failure (McNamara, 1966)
  • Socio-cultural maladaptation due to difficulties
    in identifying with either language group
    (Diebold, 1968)

2nd Theory Separate Entity Theory
  • Contrary to unitary language hypothesis suggests
  • Simultaneous bilinguals acquire language-
    specific properties early in their development,
    as evidenced by
  • Word mixing
  • Code Switching
  • Translation Equivalents

Word Mixing
  • Systematic borrowing of words by simultaneous
    bilinguals from the dominant language into the
    non-dominant is not due to confusion (Pettito,
  • Instead of revealing a state of confusion, it
    reveals a cognitive competence - filling in the
    gap (Genesee, 2006)
  • Is a proficiency issue because of uneven exposure
    to the two languages

Translation Equivalents
  • (Pettito, 2004) found
  • Approx. 30 translation equivalents in 2 y.o.
  • Increased code mixing of words for which they
    did not know translation equivalents

Bilingual Proficiency
Code Switching
  • The use of elements (phonological, lexical,
    morpho-syntactic) from two languages in the same
    utterance or stretch of conversation (Genesee,
  • Rule-governed, not at random (Pettito, 2004)
  • Occurs at points in an utterance where the
    grammar of both languages is in agreement
  • Sensitivity to the context
  • As early as 18 months, bilingual children make
    language choices showing the ability to manage
    two separate languages based on their

Simultaneous vs. sequentialbilinguals
  • Are there differences in their paths to bilingual
    language acquisition?

Stages of Second LanguageAcquisition (Tabors,
  • 1. Silent/Nonverbal
  • Child is listening and observing while cracking
  • the code of the new language
  • 2. Early Production
  • Telegraphic speech Use of shorten phrases such
    as want water for I want to get water.
  • Formulaic speech Children use prefabricated
    chunks before they clearly know the meaning of
    each unit

Stages of Second Language Acquisition (Tabors,
  • 3. Productive Language Use
  • Child begins to demonstrate an understanding
  • of the syntactic system of the language
  • They go beyond short phrases and chunks to
    create their own sentences expressing their own
    ideas and conveying their own meaning

Differences between Simultaneous and Sequential
  • Findings suggest sequential learners bring
    conceptual, semantic and morphological knowledge
    from L1 to the learning of L2
  • Simultaneous learners are acquiring L1 and L2 at
    the same time

Are Bilinguals delayed in language development?
  • Recent studies suggest similar attainment of
    milestones to monolinguals
  • Speech perception
  • Bilingual infants recognize bilingual input at
    the same age as monolingual children begin to
    recognize word from their own input language
    (Polka Sundara, 2003)
  • Sound Production
  • Onset of canonical babbling reported around 27
    weeks of age for a group of bilingual
    English-Spanish children and English
    monolinguals, (Oller, et. al 1997)

Are Bilinguals Delayed?
  • Vocabulary acquisition
  • First words are acquired at 12- 13 mos. as in
    monolingual children (Patterson Pearson, 2004)
  • Vocabulary size is similar to that of same-age
    monolinguals, as long as both languages are
    measured for bilinguals e.g., conceptual
    vocabulary (Pearson,1993)

Bilingualism as a cognitive asset?
  • Studies suggest that bilingual children
  • Cognitive advantages compared to monolinguals
    (Pearl Lambert, 1962)
  • Increased metalinguistic awareness, specially in
    phonology, reading/writing (Adams, 1990)
  • Increased selective attention advantage during
    information processing tasks (Bialystok, 2001)

Developmental and educational concerns with our
  • Reading gap between DLL and monolingual children
    (August et. al, 2005)
  • Vocabulary language delays
  • Other

Is Bilingualismthe culprit ?
  • For language delays and below average reading
    performance (August et. al, 2005)?
  • OR, are there perhaps other factors that may
    impact DLLs language and literacy development?

Other potential factors
  • The quality of the bilingual childrens
  • learning environment
  • interaction with their learning environment
  • May impact their cognitive performance (Cummins,
  • Supportive vs. subtractive (one language only)
  • Proficiency level attained

Profile of many of our DLL
  • Low Family SES
  • Low familial educational level
  • 44 of Mexican Central American immigrants have
    no H.S. education
  • Low maternal education
  • Subtractive bilingual environment
  • Limited development or loss of their first
  • Minority language status in society
  • Immigrants, indigenous cultures
  • May lead to diminished self-esteem

Main concerns
  • Slow vocabulary development
  • Language development
  • Syntactic development
  • Studies suggest that vocabulary drives
    development of grammar skills (Conboy Thal,
  • Reading comprehension
  • Literacy skills
  • Academic skills

Educational concern breadth and depth of DLLs
  • August, et al. 2005
  • Large gaps in vocabulary between DLL's and EO
  • DLLs know fewer English vocabulary words than
    monolingual English speakers
  • DLL scored lower in breadth ( of different
    words) and depth (knowledge of multiple meanings
    of the same word, e.g., bug) than EO peers

Vocabulary and literacy
  • Vocabulary is recognized as a strong predictor of
    academic success in both monolinguals (Lonigan
    Shanahan, 2009) and DLL (Carlo, 2008)
  • Critical role of vocabulary development in DLL

Impact of vocabulary in 2nd language literacy
  • Facilitates the acquisition of new meaning
  • Comprehension of text
  • Promotes overall learning
  • Drives the development of grammar to aid
  • Phonological awareness.

Challenges with the assessment phase
  • Linguistically heterogeneous population
  • What language do we use to test?
  • What language(s) do we test?
  • What testing materials to use?
  • How do we distinguish between language disorders
    and language learning differences e.g.,
    differential diagnosis?

Challenges with traditional approach
  • Traditional testing only tests a subset of the
    bilinguals lexical knowledge and does not
  • Whether the bilingual child is missing
  • A label in one of the languages, as opposed to
  • A concept/lexical entry (conceptual vocabulary)
  • Test results do not provide an accurate measure
    of the bilingual childs skills
  • e.g. Is the child delayed ?
  • Does not quantify or provide a measure that
    includes knowledge and skills in in each or both
    of the languages

Diagnostic Challenges
  • Limited research and normative data on bilingual
    childrens language development
  • What is normal?
  • Delays in language are determined by comparing
    the skills to those of similar linguistic,
    cultural experiences and age matched peers

Assessment Challenges
  • Norm Biased standardized for different
    populations are not appropriate because the norms
    do not measure the testing population
  • Content Biased assumes that all subjects have
    been exposed to the same cultural experiences,
    content and vocabulary

Assessment Challenges
  • Linguistic biases
  • Translated versions assume that languages operate
    in the same fashion
  • Same frequency of occurrence of lexical items
  • Same frequency of occurrence in syntactic
    structure as well as order of syntactic elements
    in the sentence across languages
  • The boy hit the ball vs. The ball hit the

Further Assessment Considerations
  • Amount of time exposed to each language can
    affect relative vocabulary size in each language
    (Pearson et al.1997)
  • Unequal exposure or practice with each language
    can result in individual language learning
    differences and not necessarily delays in sound

Assessment ideas?
Assessment Process
  • Multistep approach
  • Review
  • Interview
  • Observe
  • Test
  • Gutierrez Pena, 2001 Langdon Cheng, 2002
    Kohnert, 2008McGregor et al, 1997

Linguistic background
  • Father early sequential bilingual in English and
    Turkish and later acquired Spanish as an adult
  • Mother late sequential bilingual in Spanish then
    English at age 18
  • Children early sequential bilinguals
  • Spanish followed by English before age 3

Alternate Assessment Approaches
  • Parental interview
  • Similar peer-based comparisons
  • Observation in natural environment
  • Contrastive Analysis
  • Dynamic Assessment (test-teach-test)
  • Criterion-Referenced Measures

Alternate Assessment Approaches
  • Consider
  • Transdisciplinary play-based assessment approach
    for obtaining an estimate of the functional
    skills specially for preschoolers
  • Advantages
  • Flexibility and adaptability in task
  • Opportunities for parent/peer interaction.
  • Opportunities to observe child using the home and
    the majority language with parents and peers

Clinical Implications
  • Restrain our immediate instinct to use a
    traditional monolingual model
  • Avoid excessive reliance on standardized
    instruments that may not provide a valid basis
    for assessment
  • Tailor assessment and intervention plans to the
    particular client you are serving
  • Type of bilingualism, proficiency model, etc.

Treatment Challenges
  • What language do we use?
  • L1, L2 or both?
  • Is L1 going to interfere with the learning of L2?
  • Does input in two languages place unwarranted
    demands on the language learning systems of
    children with LI?
  • As monolingual SLPs, is it our responsibility to
    support the development of bilingual LI kids

Research suggests
  • YES, we need to treat children from culturally
    and diverse backgrounds
  • YES, we need to strongly support L1 development,
    especially in young children
  • YES, there is some evidence that Bilingual LI
    kids can learn two languages

Why treat in L1?
  • The development of social, emotional, cognitive
    skills and literacy skills is mediated by
    communication in young children
  • These interdependent developmental skills do not
    develop in a vacuum
  • Develop within a cultural context, and the
    primary cultural environment for young children
    is the immediate and extended family (Kohnert,
    et. al, 2005)

Approaches to Treatment
  • Children, especially young ones, will have
    increased motivation and opportunities to learn
    and use the home language
  • vehicle for emotional attachment
  • for communicating the familys values,
    expectations, and interpreting world experiences
  • e.g. leading activities, modeling, play, etc.
  • Resist potential cognitive disadvantages of loss
    of L1
  • e.g. language loss, phonological awareness,
    pre-lit skills, etc.

Research evidence
  • Thordardottir (1997) compared single vs.
    bilingual (two languages) intervention on a 4 y.o
    Icelandic child
  • Found gains in vocabulary in both languages
    during the bilingual condition at a better or
    equal rate to the gains in the monolingual
  • Perozzi Sanchez (1992) found faster and greater
    vocabulary gains in both languages in the
    sequential Spanish-English condition than English

Benefits of L1 in literacy development
  • Supporting a childs native language and early
    literacy skills in a childs native language
    better supports later academic outcomes in L2
    (August Shanahan,2006)
  • DLL can use prior knowledge from L1 to understand
    information in L2 if L1 is supported in
    instruction (Ulanoff, 1999)
  • Over 1/2 of the worlds population is bilingual
    (de Houwer, 1995)

Contribution of L1 to literacy in DLL
  • L1 may facilitate/scaffold the learning of
    vocabulary in L2
  • Concept is known in L1 only need to attach an
    English translation/label
  • May be faster than teaching a new concept
  • Previous knowledge may help infer meaning of new
    word in L2, store of knowledge (Proctor et al.

Intervention Goals
  • Promote change maximizing the potential for
    successful communication
  • Provide frequent opportunities to listen and
    practice language in meaningful social contexts
  • Kohnert, 2008 Wing et al, 2008

As a monolingual service provider
  • YOU can help create
  • A rich language environment, both at home and
    especially in preschool
  • Studies suggest this may set off a learning
    process that may, over time, result in increased
    vocabularies and literacy gains in DLL (Aukrust,
    Vibeke, Grover 2007)
  • Train the parents, encourage family participation

Quality of language exposure
  • What impacts vocabulary development?
  • Breadth and depth of vocabulary knowledge key to
    decreasing vocabulary gap
  • Three aspects significant in the teachers verbal
    interaction with the children
  • Number of words
  • Diversity of words
  • Rich and varied context (Aukrust, Vibeke, Grover

Approaches to vocabulary development
  • Richness of language exposure both at school and
    at home
  • Explicit teaching
  • Multimodal approach to vocabulary and literacy
  • Family support/participation
  • Include culturally relevant thematic units/books
    (Castro et. al 2008)

Holistic literacy-based approach
  • Include literacy-based aspects such as
  • Rich contextual cues via childrens books
  • Transparent word/phrase definitions
  • Questions and prompts
  • Examples of how words are used in other contexts
    (depth of vocabulary)
  • Encouragement for children to pronounce words
  • Notice the spelling of target words
  • Repetition and reinforcement (Silverman, 1997)
  • Both at home and at pre-school

Family as a resource
  • The family can be help maintain the childs L1
    development at home
  • Support literacy development in the first
    language that could extend into L2
  • Especially if bilingual school books are sent
  • Send a variety of literacy-based activities that
    do not rely only on reading
  • Photos, make-n-take book activities,
    manipulatives, etc.

In the home environment
  • Richness of language exposure
  • Provide parental training via interpreters
  • Work closely with families to ensure that new
    concepts and words are taught in all the childs
    languages and environments
  • Create a welcoming environment for linguistically
    diverse families so they receive the message that
    their home language is good, important, and
    respected (Adapted from Dual language learners
    in early care and educational settings)

Pre-literacy activities
  • Encourage parents to
  • Talk with infants, toddlers and preschoolers
    using language they feel most comfortable with
    during routines, play, and new experiences
  • Sing
  • Rhyme
  • Share books

During pre-literacy activities
  • Share new and rare words
  • Use different kinds of questions
  • Follow the CAR!
  • Comment and wait
  • Ask questions and wait
  • Respond by adding more

Create a Collage of Ideas
National Head Start Family Literacy Center
Tapping Available Resources
  • Family members, friends
  • Community volunteers
  • Allied professionals, co-treatment
  • Bilingual paraprofessionals or consulting SLPs
  • Interpreters/translators
  • College volunteers (Kohnert, 2008)

Working with Interpreters
  • Prior to Seeing the Family
  • Give background set goals to get on the same
  • Etiquette
  • Address the family, not the interpreter, and
    maintain eye contact with the family
  • Speak at a comfortable pace that will allow time
    for interpretation

Working with Interpreters
  • Confirm understanding and agreement with the
  • Encourage interpreter to clarify terms with you
  • Debriefing Use the interpreter as a resource
    for you
  • Speak privately with the interpreter who may
    perceive cultural and emotional subtleties more

A Dual Language Learner is like this picture
Muchas Gracias!
  • Acknowledgements
  • Dr. Patsy Pierce, UNC-CH
  • Dr. Dina Castro, FPG

  • Gorman, Brenda K., Aghara, Rachel G.,
    Conceptualizing Bilingualism Defining the
    Standard for Child Language Assessment.
    Perspectives on Communication Disorders and
    Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse
    Populations. Vol. 11(2), July 2004. pp. 19-23
  • Kester, Ellen Stubbe Elizabeth D. Peña (2002).
    Language ability assessment of Spanish-English
    Bilinguals future directions. Practical
    Assessment, Research Evaluation, 8(4).
  • Kohnert, K., Yim, D., Nett, K., Kan, P., Duran,
    L., Intervention with Linguistically Diverse
    Preschool Children A Focus on Developing Home,
    LSHSS, vol. 36,251-263,July 2005
  • Laing, S., Kahmdi, A. Alternative Assessment of
    Language and Literacy in Culturally and
    Linguistically Diverse Population, LSHSS, Vol 34,
    44-55, January 2003.

  • American Speech-Language- Hearing Association.
    (1989, March). Bilingual Speech- Language
    Pathologists and Audiologists Definition. ASHA,
    31, p. 93.
  • California Institute on Human Services/SSU
    (2003). Language is the Key Follow the CAR
    Resource Guide. Sonoma, CA, Sonoma State
  • California Institute on Human Services/SSU
    (2004). Follow the CAR examples handout. .
    Sonoma, CA, Sonoma State University.
  • Cole, K., M. Maddox, et al. (2002). Language is
    the key A program for building language and
    literacy. Seattle, WA, Washington Research
  • Gutierrez-Clellen, V. F. (1996). Language
    diversity Implications for assessment.
    Assessment of communication and language K. Cole,
    P. Dale and D. Thal. Baltimore, MD, Paul H.
  • http//www.asha.org/NR/rdonlyres/DDDE2F70-42CE-4B9

  • Manolson, A. (1985, 1992). It takes two to talk.
    Toronto Hanen Centre.
  • MMI Board, ASHA 2006, Why Is Yogurt Good for
    You? Because It Has Live Cultures
  • National Association for the Education of Young
    Children (NAEYC). (1992). Guidelines for
    developmentally appropriate practices.
    Washington, DC
  • Stewart, Sharon R., Serving a Diverse Population
    The role of the Speech-Language Pathology
    Professional Preparation Programs, Journal of
    allied Sciences, Winter 2002.
  • www.osr.nc.gov
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