Language Development in Preschool-Age Children Adopted From China This study examined the language development of 55 preschool-age children adopted from China who had resided in their permanent homes for approximately 2 years or longer. Slightly over 5% of the children scored below average on 2 or more measures from a battery of standardized speech-language tests normed on monolingual ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2005
Language Development in Preschool-Age Children Adopted From China
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jenny A. Roberts
    Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY
  • Karen E. Pollock
    University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • Rena Krakow
    Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
  • Johanna Price
    University of Memphis, Memphis, TN
  • Kathleen C. Fulmer
    University of Memphis, Memphis, TN
  • Paul P. Wang
    Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
  • Contact author: Jenny Roberts, Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, Hofstra University, Davison Hall, Hempstead, NY 11549.
    Contact author: Jenny Roberts, Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, Hofstra University, Davison Hall, Hempstead, NY 11549.×
  • Corresponding author: E-mail: sphjar@hofstra.edu
Article Information
Development / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / International & Global / Language Disorders / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 2005
Language Development in Preschool-Age Children Adopted From China
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2005, Vol. 48, 93-107. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2005/008)
History: Received November 7, 2003 , Revised April 26, 2004 , Accepted June 11, 2004
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2005, Vol. 48, 93-107. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2005/008)
History: Received November 7, 2003; Revised April 26, 2004; Accepted June 11, 2004
Web of Science® Times Cited: 39

This study examined the language development of 55 preschool-age children adopted from China who had resided in their permanent homes for approximately 2 years or longer. Slightly over 5% of the children scored below average on 2 or more measures from a battery of standardized speech-language tests normed on monolingual English speakers. However, the vast majority scored within or well above the average range on 2 or more measures. Contrary to other reports on the language development of internationally adopted children, the results suggest that "second first language" acquisition proceeds rapidly in the majority of preschool-age children adopted as infants and toddlers. For the children in the sample who scored below average, results indicated that they were among the children who had been exposed to English for the least amount of time. The results of this study demonstrate both the robustness of the language system in the majority of adopted children from China as well as slower growth in a small subset of lower performers in the 1st years after adoption.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by grants from Temple University to the first and third authors and University of Memphis to the second author; the sixth author was supported by Grant K08 HD01174 from the National Institutes of Health. We are extremely grateful to Laura Cheseldine, Konkani Devi, Dodi Hamby, Jenny Prince, Kate Saunders, Rea Snyder, Patty Trucks, and Sara Zoerink for their help in collecting the data reported in this article. We offer special thanks to the children and families who participated in this study.
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