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Can bilingualism be a benefit for children with SLI? Sharon Armon-Lotem The Bilingual SLI Project Bar-Ilan University, Israel.

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Presentation on theme: "Can bilingualism be a benefit for children with SLI? Sharon Armon-Lotem The Bilingual SLI Project Bar-Ilan University, Israel."— Presentation transcript:

1 Can bilingualism be a benefit for children with SLI? Sharon Armon-Lotem The Bilingual SLI Project Bar-Ilan University, Israel

2 2 Acknowledgement This research was supported in part by THE ISRAEL SCIENCE FOUNDATION (grant No.938) and by the BMBF funded Consortium “Migration and societal Integration”.

3 This work has been done in collaboration with: Carmit Altman, Jonathan Fine, Elinor Saiegh-Haddad and Joel Walters (Bar-Ilan University), and Galit Adam (Tel-Aviv University) Hebrew Team: Anat Blass, Efrat Harel, Michal Giladi, Ruti Litt, Lyle Lustigman, Sharon Porat English Team: Audry Levant, Efrat Shimon, Dori Braude Russian Team: Lusina Danelyants, Galina Gordishevsky, Olga Gupol, Nadya Kogan, Rina Raichlin

4 Definitions ► Specific/Primary Language Impairment (SLI/PLI) Children with normal performance IQ, who score 12 months/1 SD below chronological age on standardized language tests, and have no: hearing disabilities, emotional or behavior problems, observed neurological deficit, or severe articulation/phonological deficit. ► Bilingual children – A functional definition Children with bilingual background who are able to function in both languages (carry out a conversation and understand). This includes both simultaneous bilinguals and sequential bilinguals. ► Bilingual SLI (BISLI) Bilingual children who are below chronological age in both languages.

5 Introduction- Children in Multilingual Society ► Dramatic increases in numbers of children being raised bilingually in multilingual communities due to European migrations. ► 20% of children entering Hebrew speaking secular schools in Israel in 2004 speak a language other than Hebrew at home (Central Bureau of Statistics, 2006). ► Threefold increase in bilingual children since 2000 in Ireland, Italy and Spain and 50% increase since 2005 in UK (ec.europa.eu/education) ► Limited screening and diagnostic instruments to distinguish language-impaired migrant children from those who will eventually catch up with their monolingual peers. ► As a result: frequent misdiagnosis

6 Misdiagnosis - The scope of the problem ► Israel (Iluz-Cohen 2009) – only 5 of 14 bilingual children in language preschools were impaired in both languages ► The Netherlands (de Jong 2009): Non-native speakers in Dutch schools – Mainstream schools: 14% – Special schools: 19% – Schools for language-impaired children: 24% ► Germany (Berlin) - multilingual children are underrepresented in special schools for children with SLI (Moser 2007)

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8 Central Issues (Paradis 2010) ► Are bilingualism and SLI “two of a kind?” (Crago & Paradis, 2003) ► Do bilingual children with SLI show a "double delay?” (Paradis 2007; Paradis et al. 2003; Paradis et al. 2005/6). ► Can bilingualism be a benefit for children with SLI?

9 “Two of a Kind” ? ► Some parallels are found between the language of sequential bilingual children and the language of children with SLI – e.g., both use bare verbs (*He go). ► Paradis & Crago while children with SLI tend to omit the auxiliary in past or future periphrastic verb constructions, L2 children substitute the auxiliary with the base or present tense form. ► Paradis (2008) - only L2 children generalize the use of BE, in order to fill a gap between their communicative demands and their knowledge of the L2 with a morphosyntactic expression. ► Both the high proportions of substitution errors and the overgeneralization of BE single out L2 children with TLD from children with SLI.

10 SLI in Hebrew monolinguals Dromi et al. (1993, 1999) ► Predictions: With verbal morphology so central in Hebrew, a Semitic language, it was predicted that  a very few inflections, if any, would pose a problem for children with SLI.  inflections which carry more features would be more difficult than those which carry fewer features with errors that show a simpler feature complex. ► Method: Hebrew speaking children with SLI, ages 4-6, using a sentence completion task and enactments.

11 Findings ► Sentence completion: while monolingual children with TLD scored at ceiling, children with SLI showed 80% success when one feature was involved, but hardly ever produce the target morpheme which represented two features (fem. pl.). ► Enactment: while monolingual children with TLD scored at ceiling, children with SLI showed 80% success when one feature was involved, but only 60% success when two features (person and gender) were involved. ► While in English most errors are omissions, in Hebrew most errors are substitutions in which a morpheme which marks just one feature was used to replace a morpheme which marks two features

12 Study I – Inflections Use in L2 Hebrew by Bilinguals with TLD #AgeLoE Hebrew evaluation L2 evaluation Russian- Hebrew < Within norms (Goralnik 1995) No history of language impairment in Russian. Z-score higher than -1 (based on 80 Russian-Hebrew bilinguals in regular preschools) on NWR, sentence imitation, and MLU in narrative in Russian English- Hebrew (Shimon 2008) < Within norms Goralnik 1995) Within norms (CELF2 preschool)

13 Sentence completion TLD vs. MOSLI MOSLI (Dromi et al., 1999) * *

14 Major Findings ► Speakers of Hebrew as L2 whose L1 is English, are almost at ceiling for all three morphemes after two years of exposure to Hebrew ► Speakers of Hebrew whose L1 is Russian with a similar length of exposure are at ceiling for two of the three morphemes, but score like monolingual children with SLI on the plural morpheme. ► The few errors documented in the Hebrew L2 data were erroneous choice of tense which did not involve a fewer number of features, or, for the children with L1 Russian use of the more complex agreement morpheme (fem. pl.) due to code interference from L1 Russian. ► These data confirm that SLI and L2 are not "two of a kind".

15 “Double Delay” ? ► Rational:  Due to limited processing capacity (LPC) children with SLI would need more exposure to fully acquire linguistic paradigms.  Bilingual children with SLI have less frequent exposure to each language by being bilingual, and have functionally less exposure being SLI.  Thus, a "double delay" is expected among bilingual children with SLI ► Bilingual children with SLI are as accurate as monolingual children with SLI in their use of ten different grammatical morphemes in their spontaneous speech (Paradis 2007; Paradis et al. 2003; Paradis et al. 2005/6).

16 Study II – Language use in Narrative (Moldinov 2010) Russian-Hebrew Bilinguals with SLI & Hebrew Monolinguals with SLI ► Task: telling a story from a set of pictures #AgeLoE Hebrew score L2 evaluation BiTLD205;0-6;22< Within norms (Goralnik 1995) No history of language impairment in Russian. Z-score higher than -1 (based on 80 Russian-Hebrew bilinguals in regular preschools) on NWR, sentence imitation, and MLU in narrative in Russian BiSLI96;3-6;102< < -1.5 SD parents reported delay in L1 Russian. All were receiving treatment by an SLP MoSLI145;1-6;5 < -1.5 SD

17 MoSLIBiSLIBiTLD Mean # of clauses Mean # of words MLC Syntactic complexity Cohesion Syntactic complexity = # of complex clauses/# of clauses Cohesion = # of coordinators/# of clauses

18 Findings ► No significant difference between MoSLI and BiSLI on a range of linguistic measures ► Significant difference between BiTLD and the two SLI groups ► Impaired bilinguals achieve a similar level of performance to impaired monolinguals, thus showing no double delay effects for the impaired children.

19 Study III – Hebrew Inflections in BISLI ► 9 bilingual English-Hebrew children, ages 5-7, who attend language preschool following an earlier diagnosis for SLI. ► The bilingual children were all sequential bilinguals and were exposed to Hebrew for at least two years. ► All scored lower than -1 SD below norm on the CELF2 preschool for English and lower than -1.5 SD below norm on the Goralnik for Hebrew. ► Monolingual SLI (MoSLI) from Dromi et al (1999)

20 Enactment BISLI and MOSLI BISLIMOSLI

21 Major Findings ► On the three inflectional categories which were tested in both studies, no significant difference was found between the two groups, neither in the degree of success, nor in the type of errors (choosing the 3rd person form which has no suffix instead of a form inflected with a suffix for 1st or 2nd person). ► Impaired bilinguals achieve a similar level of performance to impaired monolinguals, thus showing no double delay effects for the impaired children.

22 Sentence completion BISLI and MOSLI MOSLI ?

23 Major Findings ► Bilingual children with SLI are not only as accurate as monolingual children with SLI, and sometimes even do better ► In the present tense, bilingual children with SLI do better than Dromi et al.'s monolingual children with SLI ► This is noteworthy in the use of the rare and marked feminine plural. ► Can bilingualism be beneficial for children with SLI?

24 Can Bilingualism be a Benefit? ► Does bilingualism offer compensatory mechanisms for children with SLI, either by counteracting the effects of limitations in processing abilities or of impaired linguistic system? ► Bialystok (2007) - bilingual children have certain superior executive functions which are manifested by enhanced metalinguistic awareness. ► Roeper (2009) - bilingualism can be instructive, due to the organization of the dual linguistic system. ► Can bilingual children with SLI rely on their knowledge of L1 in acquiring the L2, in a way which gives them an advantage over monolingual children with SLI?

25 Two Examples of Linguistic Benefits ► Reference in Narrative ► Preposition

26 Study IV - Reference in Narrative: English-Hebrew Bilinguals with SLI & Hebrew Monolinguals with SLI (Jaber 2009) ► Task - telling a story from a set of pictures (Goralnik 1995) #AgeLoE Hebrew score (Goralnik 1995) L2 evaluation (CELF2 preschool) BiTLD95-72< Within norms BiSLI85-72< < -1.5 SD < -1 SD MoSLI85-7 < -1.5 SD

27 Sample narrative (MoSLI) אמא הכינה לילדים שלה אוכל ואכלו ואכלו אח " כ בא לו זבוב. אח " כ הוא כעס אח " כ שמו לה בייגלה בזנב אח " כ שמו לה בשערות משהו חם אח " כ ניקו אותה וזהו. Mom prepared food for her children and pro ate.pl and pro ate.pl Then, came a fly. Then, he was angry Then, pro put.pl a pretzel on her tail. Then, pro put.pl something hot in her hair Then, pro cleaned.pl her and that’s it

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30 Major Findings ► English-Hebrew bilingual children with SLI benefit from bilingualism when making a reference in the narrative, both in the use of null subject and in the use of accusative pronouns ► The more restricted use of null subject and the accusative pronouns in English helps these children use this structure in the L2

31 Study V - The use of Prepositions: Russian-Hebrew Bilinguals with SLI, English-Hebrew Bilinguals with SLI & Hebrew Monolinguals with SLI #AgeLoE Hebrew score (Goralnik 1995) L2 evaluation English- Hebrew 85-72< < -1.5 SD < -1 SD (CELF2 preschool) Russian- Hebrew 36-72< < -1.5 SD parents reported delay in L1 Russian. All were receiving treatment by an SLP MoSLI85;6-7 < -1.5 SD ► Task – Sentence Repetition, two types of preposition.

32 A few words on prepositions ► Prepositions are a locus of code interference in bilingual populations. ► Some children with SLI show omission of prepositions (Roeper et al., 2001) ► Hebrew - two major types of prepositions:  restricted prepositions (e.g., laugh at) - have mainly a grammatical function  free prepositions (temporals and locatives, e.g., on the table/in the morning) - have a semantic function, as well, contributing to the meaning of the sentence. ► English – a third type:  restricted prepositions in particle verbs (turn on, look for) - have a semantic function, changing the meaning of the verb

33 Prepositions and SLI: Predications ► Children with SLI show difficulties with structures which are grammatically motivated, and do better with structures which are semantically motivated ► In Hebrew, restricted prepositions have a very limited semantic motivation and their omission is expected ► In English, a sub-group of the restricted prepositions (particles) changes the meaning of the verb and has a semantic basis ► Particles in particle verbs in English promote awareness of the obligatoriness of prepositions in phrasal verbs in both languages of a English-Hebrew bilingual child, and can facilitate the use of obligatory prepositions in a language which has no particles (e.g, Hebrew). ► Children with BISLI whose L1 is English have a better chance at realizing that restricted prepositions are indeed obligatory, than children who have no place in their language where restricted prepositions are semantically motivated (e.g., monolingual Hebrew speaking children with SLI, or Russian-Hebrew bilinguals with SLI).

34 Error type per preposition type

35 Discussion ► English-Hebrew bilingual children benefit from the bilingual situation in the use of preposition ► Russian-Hebrew bilingual children, whose L1 Russian has no particles, do not show benefits of bilingualism. ► Such findings suggest that knowing one language could help children with SLI bootstrap the learning of a second one. ► Bootstrapping depends on the nature of the two languages.

36 Conclusion ► L2 knowledge and impaired knowledge are not "two of a kind“ ► bilingualism does not lead to a "dual delay" in bilingual children with SLI ► Bilingualism might have a facilitative effect and an instructive value for children with SLI

37 Thank you תודה Спасибо


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