The Efficacy of a Vocabulary Intervention for Dual-Language Learners With Language Impairment Purpose In this study, the authors evaluated the efficacy of a Spanish–English versus English-only vocabulary intervention for dual-language learners (DLLs) with language impairment compared to mathematics intervention groups and typically developing controls with no intervention. Further, in this study the authors also examined whether the language of instruction affected English, ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2013
The Efficacy of a Vocabulary Intervention for Dual-Language Learners With Language Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Maria Adelaida Restrepo
    Arizona State University, Phoenix
  • Gareth P. Morgan
    The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Marilyn S. Thompson
    Arizona State University, Phoenix
  • Correspondence to Maria Adelaida Restrepo: laida.restrepo@asu.edu
  • Editor and Associate Editor: Janna Oetting
    Editor and Associate Editor: Janna Oetting×
Article Information
Development / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / School-Based Settings / Language Disorders / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 2013
The Efficacy of a Vocabulary Intervention for Dual-Language Learners With Language Impairment
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2013, Vol. 56, 748-765. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/11-0173)
History: Received July 6, 2011 , Revised February 20, 2012 , Accepted August 30, 2012
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2013, Vol. 56, 748-765. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/11-0173)
History: Received July 6, 2011; Revised February 20, 2012; Accepted August 30, 2012

Purpose In this study, the authors evaluated the efficacy of a Spanish–English versus English-only vocabulary intervention for dual-language learners (DLLs) with language impairment compared to mathematics intervention groups and typically developing controls with no intervention. Further, in this study the authors also examined whether the language of instruction affected English, Spanish, and conceptual vocabulary differentially.

Method The authors randomly assigned 202 preschool DLLs with language impairment to 1 of 4 conditions: bilingual vocabulary, English-only vocabulary, bilingual mathematics, or English-only mathematics. Fifty-four DLLs with typical development received no intervention. The vocabulary intervention consisted of a 12-week small-group dialogic reading and hands-on vocabulary instruction of 45 words. Postintervention group differences and linear growth rates were examined in conceptual, English, and Spanish receptive and expressive vocabulary for the 45 treatment words.

Results Results indicate that the bilingual vocabulary intervention facilitated receptive and expressive Spanish and conceptual vocabulary gains in DLLs with language impairment compared with the English vocabulary intervention, mathematics intervention, and no-intervention groups. The English-only vocabulary intervention differed significantly from the mathematics condition and no-intervention groups on all measures but did not differ from the bilingual vocabulary intervention. Vocabulary growth rates postintervention slowed considerably. Results support the idea that bilingual interventions support native- and second-language vocabulary development.

Conclusion English-only intervention supports only English. Use of repeated dialogic reading and hands-on activities facilitates vocabulary acquisition.

Acknowledgments
This project was funded by Institute of Education Sciences Grant R305G05025 to Vera Gutiérrez-Clellen (principal investigator) at San Diego State University and the first author (co-principal investigator) at Arizona State University. The second author is funded by Institute of Education Sciences Postdoctoral Training Grant in Special Education R324B080008 (Sharon Vaughn, principal investigator). We thank all the preschool programs, teachers, and families who made this project possible. We also thank Vera Gutiérrez-Clellen and Gabriela Simon-Cereijido for their contributions to the design and data collection of the project.
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