Bilingual Children With Nonsyndromic Cleft Lip and/or Palate: Language and Memory Skills PurposeResearch shows that monolingual children with cleft lip and/or palate (CLP) have a higher incidence of cognitive-linguistic deficits, but it is not clear whether bilingual preschool children with CLP are especially vulnerable because they need to acquire 2 languages. We tested the hypothesis that bilingual children with CLP score lower ... Article
Article  |   October 01, 2012
Bilingual Children With Nonsyndromic Cleft Lip and/or Palate: Language and Memory Skills
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Selena Ee-Li Young
    Kandang Kerbau Hospital, Singapore
  • Alison Anne Purcell
    University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • Kirrie Jane Ballard
    University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • Susan Jane Rickard Liow
    National University of Singapore
  • Sara Da Silva Ramos
    Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Robert Heard
    University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • Correspondence to Selena Ee-Li Young: selena.young.el@kkh.com.sg
  • Editor: Janna Oetting
    Editor: Janna Oetting×
  • Associate Editor: Katherine Hustad
    Associate Editor: Katherine Hustad×
Article Information
Special Populations / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language
Article   |   October 01, 2012
Bilingual Children With Nonsyndromic Cleft Lip and/or Palate: Language and Memory Skills
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2012, Vol. 55, 1314-1328. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/10-0320)
History: Received November 16, 2010 , Revised June 26, 2011 , Accepted February 15, 2012
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2012, Vol. 55, 1314-1328. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/10-0320)
History: Received November 16, 2010; Revised June 26, 2011; Accepted February 15, 2012
Web of Science® Times Cited: 3

PurposeResearch shows that monolingual children with cleft lip and/or palate (CLP) have a higher incidence of cognitive-linguistic deficits, but it is not clear whether bilingual preschool children with CLP are especially vulnerable because they need to acquire 2 languages. We tested the hypothesis that bilingual children with CLP score lower than bilingual children with typical development (TD) on receptive vocabulary, verbal memory, and visuospatial memory.

MethodParticipants were 86 bilingual CLP children and 100 TD children 3–6 years of age, dominant in English or Mandarin. Each child completed assessments of English and Mandarin vocabulary, verbal and visuospatial short-term and working memory, hearing, and articulation.

ResultsWith analysis of covariance controlling for age and dominant language, no group differences were found between the CLP and TD bilingual children, although a correlational analysis indicated discrepancies in the relationship between variables.

ConclusionsThe findings do not support the hypothesis that preschool children with CLP score lower than preschool children with TD on receptive vocabulary and memory measures. Longitudinal research examining literacy skill development is needed to establish whether the deficits reported for school-age monolingual children with CLP become more obvious in bilingual children in later years, especially when the medium of instruction is the child’s nondominant language.

Acknowledgments
This study was supported by SingHealth Foundation Grant SHF/FG350S/2007 and by funds from the Faculty Postgraduate Funding (2009–2010) and the Postgraduate Research Support Scheme (2008, 2010) from the University of Sydney (New South Wales, Australia). We thank all the children who participated in this study. We also thank Karen Lee, Genevieve Ng, Melanie Chastan, Cecilia A. Chandra, and Vincent Yeow for their assistance with various aspects of the study.
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