Phonological Skills in English Language Learners PurposeThe purpose of this study was to examine the English phonological skills of English language learners (ELLs) over 5 time points.MethodSound class accuracy, whole-word accuracy, percentage of occurrence of phonological patterns, and sociolinguistic correlational analyses were investigated in 19 ELLs ranging in age from 5;0 (years;months) to 7;6.ResultsAccuracy across all ... Research Article
Research Article  |   January 2014
Phonological Skills in English Language Learners
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Alyse Morrow
    Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
  • Brian A. Goldstein
    La Salle University, Philadelphia, PA
  • Amanda Gilhool
    Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
  • Johanne Paradis
    University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • Disclosure:The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure:The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Brian A. Goldstein: goldstein@lasalle.edu
  • Editor: C. Melanie Schuele
    Editor: C. Melanie Schuele×
  • Associate Editor: Alejandro Brice
    Associate Editor: Alejandro Brice×
  • © American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Research Article
Research Article   |   January 2014
Phonological Skills in English Language Learners
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2014, Vol. 45, 26-39. doi:10.1044/2013_LSHSS-13-0009
History: Received January 29, 2013 , Revised July 24, 2013 , Accepted December 3, 2013
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2014, Vol. 45, 26-39. doi:10.1044/2013_LSHSS-13-0009
History: Received January 29, 2013; Revised July 24, 2013; Accepted December 3, 2013
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

PurposeThe purpose of this study was to examine the English phonological skills of English language learners (ELLs) over 5 time points.

MethodSound class accuracy, whole-word accuracy, percentage of occurrence of phonological patterns, and sociolinguistic correlational analyses were investigated in 19 ELLs ranging in age from 5;0 (years;months) to 7;6.

ResultsAccuracy across all samples was over 90% for all sound classes except fricatives and increased for all sound classes across time. Whole-word accuracy was high and increased across time. With the exception of cluster reduction, stopping, and final consonant deletion, the frequency of occurrence for phonological patterns was less than or equal to 5% at every time point. Sociolinguistic variables such as age of arrival, age of exposure, and age were significantly related to phonological skills.

ConclusionsThe results were consistent with the hypotheses outlined in Flege's (1995)  speech learning model in that the phonological skills of ELLs increased over time and as a function of age of arrival and time. Thus, speech-language pathologists (SLPs) also should expect phonological skills in ELLs to increase over time, as is the case in monolingual children. SLPs can use the longitudinal and connected-speech results of this study to interpret their assessments of the phonological skills of ELLs.

Acknowledgments
This study was supported, in part, by a grant from Language Learning to the second author. Portions of this study were presented at the 2009 and 2010 annual conventions of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (respectively, in New Orleans, LA, and Philadelphia, PA). We thank the children and their families for participating in the study.
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