French-English Bilingual Children With SLI How Do They Compare With Their Monolingual Peers? Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2003
French-English Bilingual Children With SLI
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Johanne Paradis
    University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • Martha Crago
    University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
  • Fred Genesee
    McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • Mabel Rice
    University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
  • Contact author: Johanne Paradis, Department of Linguistics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2E7, Canada.
    Contact author: Johanne Paradis, Department of Linguistics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2E7, Canada.×
  • Corresponding author: E-mail: johanne.paradis@ualberta.ca
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 2003
French-English Bilingual Children With SLI
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2003, Vol. 46, 113-127. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2003/009)
History: Received December 12, 2001 , Accepted September 11, 2002
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2003, Vol. 46, 113-127. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2003/009)
History: Received December 12, 2001; Accepted September 11, 2002
Web of Science® Times Cited: 95

The goal of this study was to determine whether bilingual children with specific language impairment (SLI) are similar to monolingual age mates with SLI, in each language. Eight French-English bilingual children with SLI were compared to agematched monolingual children with SLI, both English and French speaking, with respect to their use of morphosyntax in language production. Specifically, using the extended optional infinitive (EOI) framework, the authors examined the children’s use of tense-bearing and non-tense-bearing morphemes in obligatory context in spontaneous speech. Analyses revealed that the patterns predicted by the EOI framework were borne out for both the monolingual and bilingual children with SLI: The bilingual and monolingual children with SLI showed greater accuracy with non-tense than with tense morphemes. Furthermore, the bilingual and monolingual children with SLI had similar mean accuracy scores for tense morphemes, indicating that the bilingual children did not exhibit more profound deficits in the use of these grammatical morphemes than their monolingual peers. In sum, the bilingual children with SLI in this study appeared similar to their monolingual peers for the aspects of grammatical morphology examined in each language. These bilingual-monolingual similarities point to the possibility that SLI may not be an impediment to learning two languages, at least in the domain of grammatical morphology.

Acknowledgment
We would like to thank Diane Pesco, Jessica Little, Andrea MacLeod, Julie Bélanger, and Jeanne Poitras for their assistance in data collection, transcription, and coding for the bilingual children. We particularly want to acknowledge the contribution of Diane Pesco, whose unfailing and careful efforts at participant recruitment were fundamental to the success of the study. This research was supported financially by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (Research Grant 410-98-0281 to Martha Crago and Fred Genesee; Postdoctoral Fellowship 756-97-0025 to Johanne Paradis) and by the Sick Children’s Hospital Foundation (External Grant XG99-005 to Martha Crago and Johanne Paradis).
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