Dynamic Assessment of Word Learning Skills: Identifying Language Impairment in Bilingual Children Purpose Bilingual children are often diagnosed with language impairment, although they may simply have fewer opportunities to learn English than English-speaking monolingual children. This study examined whether dynamic assessment (DA) of word learning skills is an effective method for identifying bilingual children with primary language impairment (PLI). Method ... Research Article
Research Article  |   January 01, 2012
Dynamic Assessment of Word Learning Skills: Identifying Language Impairment in Bilingual Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Maria Kapantzoglou
    Arizona State University, Tempe
  • M. Adelaida Restrepo
    Arizona State University, Tempe
  • Marilyn S. Thompson
    Arizona State University, Tempe
  • Correspondence to Maria Kapantzoglou: mkapantz@asu.edu
  • Editor: Marilyn Nippold
    Editor: Marilyn Nippold×
  • Associate Editor: Gary Troia
    Associate Editor: Gary Troia×
Article Information
Development / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Language Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Research Articles
Research Article   |   January 01, 2012
Dynamic Assessment of Word Learning Skills: Identifying Language Impairment in Bilingual Children
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2012, Vol. 43, 81-96. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2011/10-0095)
History: Received October 29, 2010 , Revised February 9, 2011 , Accepted July 3, 2011
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2012, Vol. 43, 81-96. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2011/10-0095)
History: Received October 29, 2010; Revised February 9, 2011; Accepted July 3, 2011
Web of Science® Times Cited: 15

Purpose Bilingual children are often diagnosed with language impairment, although they may simply have fewer opportunities to learn English than English-speaking monolingual children. This study examined whether dynamic assessment (DA) of word learning skills is an effective method for identifying bilingual children with primary language impairment (PLI).

Method Fifteen 4- and 5-year-old predominantly Spanish-speaking children with typical language development (TLD) and 13 with PLI each participated in a 30- to 40-min session of DA of word learning skills following a pretest–teach–posttest design.

Results Results indicated that TLD children made associations between the phonological and semantic representations of the new words faster than children with PLI did, showing greater modifiability. Further, a combination of word learning in the receptive modality and the Learning Strategies Checklist (Lidz, 1991; Peña, 1993) provided the best accuracy in identifying PLI in these children.

Conclusion Findings suggest that a brief DA is a promising method for accurately differentiating children with TLD from children with PLI.

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