Discriminating Children With Language Impairment Among English-Language Learners From Diverse First-Language Backgrounds PurposeIn this study, the authors sought to determine whether a combination of English-language measures and a parent questionnaire on first-language development could adequately discriminate between English-language learners (ELLs) with and without language impairment (LI) when children had diverse first-language backgrounds.MethodParticipants were 152 typically developing (TD) children and 26 children with ... Article
Article  |   June 2013
Discriminating Children With Language Impairment Among English-Language Learners From Diverse First-Language Backgrounds
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Johanne Paradis
    University of Alberta, Canada
  • Phyllis Schneider
    University of Alberta, Canada
  • Tamara Sorenson Duncan
    University of Alberta, Canada
  • Correspondence to Johanne Paradis: johanne.paradis@ualberta.ca
  • Editor: Janna Oetting
    Editor: Janna Oetting×
  • Associate Editor: Lisa Bedore
    Associate Editor: Lisa Bedore×
  • © American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Special Populations / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Language Disorders / Language
Article   |   June 2013
Discriminating Children With Language Impairment Among English-Language Learners From Diverse First-Language Backgrounds
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2013, Vol. 56, 971-981. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/12-0050)
History: Received February 7, 2012 , Accepted October 6, 2012
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2013, Vol. 56, 971-981. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/12-0050)
History: Received February 7, 2012; Accepted October 6, 2012
Web of Science® Times Cited: 9

PurposeIn this study, the authors sought to determine whether a combination of English-language measures and a parent questionnaire on first-language development could adequately discriminate between English-language learners (ELLs) with and without language impairment (LI) when children had diverse first-language backgrounds.

MethodParticipants were 152 typically developing (TD) children and 26 children with LI; groups were matched for age (M = 5;10 [years;months]) and exposure to English (M = 21 months). Children were given English standardized tests of nonword repetition, tense morphology, narrative story grammar, and receptive vocabulary. Parents were given a questionnaire on children's first-language development.

ResultsELLs with LI had significantly lower scores than the TD ELLs on the first-language questionnaire and all the English-language measures except for vocabulary. Linear discriminant function analyses showed that good discrimination between the TD and LI groups could be achieved with all measures, except vocabulary, combined. The strongest discriminator was the questionnaire, followed by nonword repetition and tense morphology.

ConclusionDiscrimination of children with LI among a diverse group of ELLs might be possible when using a combination of measures. Children with LI exhibit deficits in similar linguistic/cognitive domains regardless of whether English is their first or second language.

Acknowledgments
This research was funded by grants from the following agencies, for which we are grateful: Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network Grant 27061500, awarded to Johanne Paradis (principal investigator [PI]) and Phyllis Schneider (Co-Investigator [Co-I]); Alberta Centre for Child, Family and Community Research Grant 090415INV, awarded to Johanne Paradis (PI) and Phyllis Schneider (Co-I); and Alberta Innovates Health Solutions (formerly the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research) Grant 200800618-2, awarded to Johanne Paradis. We thank the Edmonton Public School Board and the Toronto District Catholic School Board for permitting us to recruit participants in their schools. We would also like to acknowledge the dedicated efforts of the Multicultural Health Brokers Cooperative in Edmonton for their services as interpreters and their help with recruitment. Finally, we thank the following student assistants who collected and processed the data: Kyla Coole, Kristyn Emmerzael, Ruiting Jia, Katryna Lysay, Dorothy Pinto, Emily Yiu, and Tatiana Zdorenko.
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