Article/Report  |   August 2007
The Language Experience and Proficiency Questionnaire (LEAP-Q): Assessing Language Profiles in Bilinguals and Multilinguals
 
Author Notes
  • Contact author: Viorica Marian, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Northwestern University, 2240 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208. E-mail: v-marian@northwestern.edu.
Article Information
Special Populations / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language
Article/Report   |   August 2007
The Language Experience and Proficiency Questionnaire (LEAP-Q): Assessing Language Profiles in Bilinguals and Multilinguals
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2007, Vol. 50, 940-967. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2007/067)
History: Received March 13, 2006 , Revised July 25, 2006 , Accepted October 2, 2006
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2007, Vol. 50, 940-967. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2007/067)
History: Received March 13, 2006; Revised July 25, 2006; Accepted October 2, 2006
Web of Science® Times Cited: 122

Purpose: To develop a reliable and valid questionnaire of bilingual language status with predictable relationships between self-reported and behavioral measures.

Method: In Study 1, the internal validity of the Language Experience and Proficiency Questionnaire (LEAP-Q) was established on the basis of self-reported data from 52 multilingual adult participants. In Study 2, criterion-based validity was established on the basis of standardized language tests and self-reported measures from 50 adult Spanish–English bilinguals. Reliability and validity of the questionnaire were established on healthy adults whose literacy levels were equivalent to that of someone with a high school education or higher.

Results: Factor analyses revealed consistent factors across both studies and suggested that the LEAP-Q was internally valid. Multiple regression and correlation analyses established criterion-based validity and suggested that self-reports were reliable indicators of language performance. Self-reported reading proficiency was a more accurate predictor of first-language performance, and self-reported speaking proficiency was a more accurate predictor of second-language performance. Although global measures of self-reported proficiency were generally predictive of language ability, deriving a precise estimate of performance on a particular task required that specific aspects of language history be taken into account.

Conclusion: The LEAP-Q is a valid, reliable, and efficient tool for assessing the language profiles of multilingual, neurologically intact adult populations in research settings.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by Grant 1R03HD046952-01A1 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders and Grant BCS-0418495 from the National Science Foundation to Viorica Marian. We thank Dorothea Blumenfeld, Matthias Blumenfeld, Olga Boukrina, Joanna Bovee, Vridhi Chhabria, Nadia Cone, Caitlin Fausey, Dean Garstecki, Dong Lu, Naveen Malik, Avital Rabin, and Evar Strid for their contributions to this project.
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