Action Naming in Spanish and English by Sequential Bilingual Children and Adolescents Purpose Verb processing in early sequential Spanish–English bilinguals was investigated. Primary study goals were to identify potential patterns of development in relative levels of verb processing efficiency in a 1st (L1) and 2nd (L2) language and to investigate factors influencing cognitive control of the dual-language system in developing bilinguals. ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 2006
Action Naming in Spanish and English by Sequential Bilingual Children and Adolescents
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Gisela Jia
    Lehman College, City University of New York
  • Kathryn Kohnert
    University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • Julissa Collado
    Lehman College, City University of New York
  • Francia Aquino-Garcia
    Lehman College, City University of New York
  • Contact author: Gisela Jia, Department of Psychology, Lehman College, City University of New York, 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West Bronx, NY 10468, Kathryn Kohnert, Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, 115 Shevlin Hall, University of Minnesota, 164 Pillsbury Drive, S.E. Minneapolis, MN 55455. Email: giselajia@yahoo.com or kohne005@umn.edu
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 2006
Action Naming in Spanish and English by Sequential Bilingual Children and Adolescents
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2006, Vol. 49, 588-602. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/042)
History: Received February 9, 2005 , Revised June 20, 2005 , Accepted November 8, 2005
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2006, Vol. 49, 588-602. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/042)
History: Received February 9, 2005; Revised June 20, 2005; Accepted November 8, 2005
Web of Science® Times Cited: 20

Purpose Verb processing in early sequential Spanish–English bilinguals was investigated. Primary study goals were to identify potential patterns of development in relative levels of verb processing efficiency in a 1st (L1) and 2nd (L2) language and to investigate factors influencing cognitive control of the dual-language system in developing bilinguals.

Method Four age groups of early sequential Spanish–English bilinguals (5–7 years, 8–10 years, 11–13 years, and 14–16 years of age) named action pictures in single-language (Spanish or English) and mixed-language (alternating Spanish and English) conditions. Dependent variables were accuracy and response time (RT).

Results Action-naming proficiency improved in both L1 and L2 with age, with a shift from L1 to L2 dominance in accuracy. In comparison with the single-language condition, the mixed-language condition engendered slower RT for all age groups and lower accuracy for the 3 younger age groups. The oldest age group did not show accuracy difference between the conditions.

Conclusions These general patterns of verb processing across age, language, and processing conditions replicated and enriched previous findings of noun processing in similar populations (K. J. Kohnert, E. Bates, & A. E. Hernandez, 1999). However, verb processing was considerably slower and less accurate than noun processing. Theoretical and applied implications of these findings are discussed.

Acknowledgments
Gisela Jia and Kathryn Kohnert share the first authorship of this article. The order of the first two authorships was decided alphabetically. Funding for manuscript preparation was provided to Kathryn Kohnert by the University of Minnesota through a McKnight Land-Grant Professorship and by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant R03 DC05542: Cognitive–Linguistic Processing in L1 and L2 Learners. Additional funding was provided to Gisela Jia by National Institutes of Health Grant SCORE/NICHD 41353-11-19/20. We are grateful to the participants and their families, as well as to the following research assistants who helped with data collection and scoring: Eloisa Falcón and Eugenia Gurrola. We also thank Richard Bock, Akiko Fuse, Gloria Lam, Wei Lai, and Joanna Rothchild for feedback on drafts of this article.
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