Tense Marking in the English Narrative Retells of Dual Language Preschoolers Purpose This longitudinal study investigated the emergence of English tense marking in young (Spanish–English) dual language learners (DLLs) over 4 consecutive academic semesters, addressing the need for longitudinal data on typical acquisition trajectories of English in DLL preschoolers. Method Language sample analysis was conducted on 139 English narrative ... Research Article
Research Article  |   July 26, 2017
Tense Marking in the English Narrative Retells of Dual Language Preschoolers
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Svenja Gusewski
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Texas at Dallas
  • Raúl Rojas
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Texas at Dallas
  • 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 Svenja Gusewski: Svenja.gusewski@utdallas.edu
  • Editor: Shelley Gray
    Editor: Shelley Gray×
  • Associate Editor: Monique Mills
    Associate Editor: Monique Mills×
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Research Articles
Research Article   |   July 26, 2017
Tense Marking in the English Narrative Retells of Dual Language Preschoolers
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 2017, Vol. 48, 183-196. doi:10.1044/2017_LSHSS-16-0093
History: Received December 12, 2016 , Revised April 20, 2017 , Accepted May 20, 2017
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 2017, Vol. 48, 183-196. doi:10.1044/2017_LSHSS-16-0093
History: Received December 12, 2016; Revised April 20, 2017; Accepted May 20, 2017

Purpose This longitudinal study investigated the emergence of English tense marking in young (Spanish–English) dual language learners (DLLs) over 4 consecutive academic semesters, addressing the need for longitudinal data on typical acquisition trajectories of English in DLL preschoolers.

Method Language sample analysis was conducted on 139 English narrative retells elicited from 39 preschool-age (Spanish–English) DLLs (range = 39–65 months). Growth curve models captured within- and between-individual change in tense-marking accuracy over time. Tense-marking accuracy was indexed by the finite verb morphology composite and by 2 specifically developed adaptations. Individual tense markers were systematically described in terms of overall accuracy and specific error patterns.

Results Tense-marking accuracy exhibited significant growth over time for each composite. Initially, irregular past-tense accuracy was higher than regular past-tense accuracy; over time, however, regular past-tense marking outpaced accuracy on irregular verbs.

Conclusions These findings suggest that young DLLs can achieve high tense-marking accuracy assuming 2 years of immersive exposure to English. Monitoring the growth in tense-marking accuracy over time and considering productive tense-marking errors as partially correct more precisely captured the emergence of English tense marking in this population with highly variable expressive language skills.

Supplemental Materials https://doi.org/10.23641/asha.5176942

Acknowledgments
This research has been supported in part by grant GA-2013-016 funded by the Jerry M. Lewis, M.D. Mental Health Research Foundation (formerly Timberlawn Psychiatric Research Foundation) awarded to Raúl Rojas and by a Graduate Student Scholarship from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation supported by the Kala Singh Memorial Fund awarded to Svenja Gusewski. The authors wish to thank the dedication from all present and prior members of the Bilingual Language Laboratory.
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