Introduction to second language acquisition and Specific Language Impairments in Children. 37-975-01 Challenges to Language Acquisition: Bilingualism and Language Impairment Dr. Sharon Armon-Lotem Bar Ilan University. 1. Bilingualism and Second Language Acquisition. Who is bilingual?
Challenges to Language Acquisition: Bilingualism and Language Impairment
Dr. Sharon Armon-Lotem
Bar Ilan University
Language impairment with no hearing loss (no history of otitis media), no emotional and behavioral problems, no below average non-verbal IQ(>=85), no neurological problems, and no oral or facial defects (Tallal & Stark 1981). A developmental language disorder characterized by Gleason (2001, p. 504) as involving ‘delayed or deviant language development in a child who exhibits no cognitive, neurological or social impairment’ (Radford 2006).
אמא הכינה לילדים שלה אוכל ואכלו ואכלו
אח"כ בא לו זבוב.
אח"כ הוא כעס
אח"כשמו לה בייגלה בזנב
אח"כשמו לה בשערות משהו חם
אח"כניקו 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.pla pretzel on her tail.
Then, pro put.pl something hot in her hair
Then, pro cleaned.pl her and that’s it
Sentences produced by the SLI children in the Leonard files on thechildes data-base.
Delay: Protracted acquisition of language, following typical developmental pattern.
Deviance: Different developmental sequences and processes.
Bedore, L.M. & Pena, E.D. (2008). Assessment of Bilingual Children for Identification of Language Impairment: Current Findings and Implications for Practice. International Journal of Bilingual Education & Bilingualism, 11,1, 1-29.
tense-marking may not be an effective clinical indicator of SLI for second language learners.
ScoresTotal naming time
Frequency of correct use, omission and commission (wrong article) of articles in Hebrew and English
Use, omission and commission (wrong article) of articles in Hebrew and English (raw numbers)
Challenges to Language Acquisition: Bilingualism and Language Impairment
Dr. Sharon Armon-Lotem
Bar Ilan University
Syntax and morphology are sources of linguistic indicators of SLI and a central focus of ongoing research on bilingual SLI (Armon-Lotem et al. 2008; Chilla & Barbur 2008; Jacobson & Schwartz 2002; de Jong et al. 2007; Marinis 2007; Papadopoulou 2009; Roeper 2004; Rothweiler et al. 2007). This project will target morphosyntactic and syntactic phenomena in both languages that have been shown to be vulnerable in monolingual children with SLI, e.g. verbal inflections (third personsHe walks), auxiliaries (such as inHe is walking), plural marking on nouns and adjectives (such as the suffixim inyeladim ktanim ‘little children’ in Hebrew or ‘the little children’ in English, determiners (such asthe inThe boy walked), prepositions (such asat inHe laughed at the girl, oron inHe turned on the light), and case marking (such as RusssianOn dal mashinu mal'chiku‘He gave car to boy’). Omission and/or substitution of such morphemes is often taken to be an indicator of SLI, but in bilingual contexts such errors could reflect L2 characteristics and/or crosslinguistic influence. For example, Russian does not have definite articles, and Russian-Hebrew bilingual children often omit the definite article in Hebrew. In terms of syntax, we include sentences with non-canonical word-order, e.g. passives (The elephant was pushed by the giraffe), wh-questions (Who did the elephant push), and relative clauses (The elephant who the giraffe pushed ran away), but leave room for other phenomena, based on the typology of the language pairs. In this context, a distinction between code interference errors and errors which cannot be traced to code interference has been shown to be an effective marker for distinguishing TDL and SLI bilingualism (Armon-Lotem & Walters 2008, 2009).
1. SVO with one auxiliary X2, SVO with one modal x2
3. Long actional and non-actional passives 4X
9. The sandwich was eaten by the postman. (actional, noun, 7 words, 3 lexical, 4 functional, 10 syllables)
10. He was kicked in the leg by the donkey. (actional, pronoun, 9 words, 3 lexical, 6 functional, 10 syllables)
11. The bear was feared by the boy in the park. (non-actional, 10 words, 4 lexical, 6 functional, 10 syllables)
12 .She was seen by the doctor in the morning. (non-actional, pronoun, 9 words, 3 lexical, 6 functional, 11 syllables)
4. wh-object which question 2X and indirect object wh-questions 2x
13. Which drink did the milkman spill in the house? (noun, 9 words, 4 lexical, 5 functional, 10 syllables)
14. Which picture did he paint at home yesterday? (pronoun, 8 words, 3 lexical, 5 functional, 11 syllables)
15. Who did the father cook the meal for today? (noun, 9 words, 3 lexical, 6 functional, 11 syllables)
16. Who did she give the beautiful rose to? (pronoun, 8 words, 3 lexical, 5 functional, 10 syllables)
2. SO relative clause – centre embedded 4x
5. The swan that the dear chased knocked over the plant. (noun – noun – noun, 10 words, 5 lexical, 5 functional, 11 syllables)
6. The horse that the farmer pushed kicked him in the back. (noun – noun - pronoun, 11 words, 5 lexical, 6 functional, 12 syllables)
7. The boy that the milkman helped has lost his way. (noun – noun - noun, 10 words, 5 lexical, 5 functional, 11 syllables)
8. The bee that the man swallowed had hurt him. (noun – noun – pronoun, 9 words, 4 lexical, 5 functional, 10 syllables)
3. Sentence Complex sentences with conditionals (2 simple, 2 complex)
9. The people will get a present if they clean the house. (11 words, 5 lexical, 6 functional, 13 syllables)
10. If the kids behave we will go in the garden. (10 words, 4 lexical, 6 functional, 12 syllables)
11. He wouldn’t have brought his friend if she was nasty. (10 words, 4 lexical, 6 functional, 12 syllables)
12. If she was poorly she would go to the nurse. (10 words, 4 lexical, 6 functional, 11 syllables)
Phonological processing and auditory memory, claimed to be impaired in children with SLI (Graf-Estes et al. 2007), should be intact in bilingual children with TLD, offering a promising direction for disentangling the two. Previous research has shown that monolingual and bilingual children with SLI perform poorly on non-word repetition (NWR) tasks (Gathercole & Pickering 2000; Girbau & Schwartz 2007). This task requires children to repeat nonce words and primarily taps phonological memory, but can also address lexical processing when the words are designed to reflect syllable structure, stress patterns and phonotactic rules similar to words in the target language. The task has been claimed to relate to vocabulary development (Gathercole 2006, and possibly to the development of syntax too (Stokes et al. 2006). The project will use a non-word repetition (NWR) task, developed in collaboration with Chiat (Chiat 2006; Roy & Chiat 2004) which include both non-words and pseudo words to make it possible to tap both on auditory memory and linguistic knowledge in both languages. Words will vary in syllable length (from one to four syllables) to tap on short term memory and in terms of clusterhood (no cluster, initial cluster and medial cluster), since clusters often pose greater difficulty for children with SLI (Marshall et al. 2009).
Narrative and discourse abilities pose difficulties for children with SLI, since the ability to construct a narrative relies on a range of linguistic skills, including lexical, grammatical and discourse abilities (e.g. temporality, cohesion, etc.). SLI children generally use fewer connectives, more lexical ties and more unclear reference, and find it difficult to gain entry to an existing dyadic interproject (Thompson, Craig & Washington 2004). Research on bilingual narrative skills is still limited (e.g. Pearson 2001, 2002; Fiestas & Peña 2004), and even more limited among BISLI children (Guttierez-Clellan et al. 2008; Uccelli & Paez 2007). Potentially diagnostic features are informed by Ravid and Berman (2006) and will be targeted from: 1. lexicon (lexical diversity, general purpose verbs; 2. morphosyntax, i.e. tense/aspect markers found in narrative discourse; 3. syntax, e.g. subordination and other means to distinguish main ideas from details; 4. narrative structure (e.g. story grammar categories, connectives, clause sequencing; 5. discourse features, e.g. information density, elaborations, topic maintenance, explicitness; 6. fluency features including repetitions, false starts, pauses, discourse markers; and 7. frequency, locus and directionality of codeswitching.
The project will make use of a bilingual retelling task in which a child is asked to retell stories in L1-L2, L2-L1 and codeswitched conditions to listeners with different language preferences (Raichlin & Walters 2007; Iluz-Cohen 2008). This task has been found effective in distinguishing between bilinguals with TLD and those with SLI (Iluz-Cohen 2008; Iluz-Cohen et al. 2009). Retelling permits examination of the range of features mentioned above, assessment of language dominance and codeswitching patterns based on: frequency, locus and directionality (L1->L2 vs. L2->L1) and pragmatic differences in codeswitching related to story content and listener's preferred language.
Three conditions (Walters & Reichlin 2005):
Child is recorded and transcribed.
Home setting Language Impairments in Children
Executive functions, among other cognitive skills, seem to offer a promising direction for disentangling bilingualism and SLI. Monolingual children with SLI perform worse than typically developing children on tasks tapping executive functions (e.g., Montgomery 2002; Baddeley & Hitch 1974; Baddeley 2007), and this suggests that they have a deficit in memory-related executive functions. On the other hand, recent research on adult bilinguals has demonstrated enhanced abilities in executive functions tapping inhibition and shifting (Bialystok & Martin 2004), which relate to monitoring two languages at the same time and being able to switch between the two languages.The question is whether bilingual children with SLI will be able to take advantage of the better performance found with adult bilinguals or whether their language impairment will have a weakening effect on their performance in executive function tasks.
This project will target executive functions in bilingual children with SLI in language and non-language oriented tasks. Cognitive (non-linguistic) tasks include the Embedded Figures Task (Piaget & Inhelder, 1971; Pascual-Leone, 1989) which tests inhibition, and classification tasks adapted to test shifting in bilingual preschool children (Smidts et al. 2004). Tasks of this type are also found in standardized tests such as the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) and the Wisconsin Card Sort test. Impairment in executive function could influence language abilities which have direct manifestations in bilinguals. A bilingual verbal fluency task (Luk & Bialystok, 2008) taps language control abilities, and will also serve as a measure of proficiency in both languages. A bilingual picture naming task (Hernandez et al., 2001; Festman et al., in press; Biran & Friedmann, 2005) will be used to test language control, that is, interference of the non-target language.
The Embedded Figures Task (based on Piaget & Inhelder, 1966; Pascual-Leone, 1989; De-Avila & Ducan, 1980).
Ten pictures were presented, each includes an embedded mouse, which the child was asked to spot as fast as possible. Pictures were presented in a gradually increasing level of difficulty. Time was measured, and errors, failures and successful turns were noted.
Degree of inhibition ability: the number of correct answers, ranging from 0 to 10.
Where is the mouse? children with SLI in language and non-language oriented tasks. Cognitive (non-linguistic) tasks include the Embedded Figures Task (Piaget & Inhelder, 1971; Pascual-Leone, 1989) which tests inhibition, and classification tasks adapted to test shifting in bilingual preschool children (Smidts et al. 2004). Tasks of this type are also found in standardized tests such as the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) and the Wisconsin Card Sort test. Impairment in executive function could influence language abilities which have direct manifestations in bilinguals. A bilingual verbal fluency task (Luk & Bialystok, 2008) taps language control abilities, and will also serve as a measure of proficiency in both languages. A bilingual picture naming task (Hernandez et al., 2001; Festman et al., in press; Biran & Friedmann, 2005) will be used to test language control, that is, interference of the non-target language
18 cards were presented.
(circle, triangle, square)
The Classification Task(based on Ben-Zeev, 1977)
The Verbal Fluency Task(Luk & Bialystok, 2007; Festman et al., in press).