Implicit Statistical Learning and Language Skills in Bilingual Children PurposeImplicit statistical learning in 2 nonlinguistic domains (visual and auditory) was used to investigate (a) whether linguistic experience influences the underlying learning mechanism and (b) whether there are modality constraints in predicting implicit statistical learning with age and language skills.MethodImplicit statistical learning was examined in visual and auditory domains. One ... Article
Article  |   February 2013
Implicit Statistical Learning and Language Skills in Bilingual Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Dongsun Yim
    Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea
  • John Rudoy
    Northwestern University, Chicago, IL
  • Correspondence to Dongsun Yim: sunyim@ewha.ac.kr
  • Editor: Janna Oetting
    Editor: Janna Oetting×
  • Associate Editor: Ron Gillam
    Associate Editor: Ron Gillam×
  • © 2013 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Development / Special Populations / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Language
Article   |   February 2013
Implicit Statistical Learning and Language Skills in Bilingual Children
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2013, Vol. 56, 310-322. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/11-0243)
History: Received September 9, 2011 , Revised March 4, 2012 , Accepted June 17, 2012
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2013, Vol. 56, 310-322. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/11-0243)
History: Received September 9, 2011; Revised March 4, 2012; Accepted June 17, 2012
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

PurposeImplicit statistical learning in 2 nonlinguistic domains (visual and auditory) was used to investigate (a) whether linguistic experience influences the underlying learning mechanism and (b) whether there are modality constraints in predicting implicit statistical learning with age and language skills.

MethodImplicit statistical learning was examined in visual and auditory domains. One hundred twelve English native speaking monolinguals and Spanish–English bilinguals age 5–13 years participated in the study. Language skills were measured by standardized language tests.

ResultsThe overall results showed that all children implicitly learned statistical regularities above chance level in both modalities. However, there was no group difference between monolingual and bilingual children on either visual or auditory tasks. Lastly, a different tendency in predicting implicit statistical learning was observed for each group. In the monolingual group, both age and language scores significantly explained auditory statistical learning, whereas age explained visual statistical learning. In the bilingual group, age explained auditory statistical learning, and nothing was significant for visual statistical learning.

ConclusionsThese findings are discussed in terms of the extent to which implicit statistical learning is influenced by internal and external factors and a consideration of important notions when testing bilingual children’s language skills.

Acknowledgments
This research adhered to basic ethical considerations for the protection of human participants in research and was approved by the Northwestern University Institutional Review Board. We thank the following research assistants for help with data collection and scoring: Joelle Gabet, Sara Gabet, Paula Acuna, and Analyssa Valdez.
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