Total and Conceptual Vocabulary in Spanish–English Bilinguals From 22 to 30 Months: Implications for Assessment PurposeVocabulary assessment holds promise as a way to identify young bilingual children at risk for language delay. This study compares 2 measures of vocabulary in a group of young Spanish–English bilingual children to a single-language measure used with monolingual children.MethodTotal vocabulary and conceptual vocabulary were used to measure mean vocabulary ... Article
Article  |   October 01, 2013
Total and Conceptual Vocabulary in Spanish–English Bilinguals From 22 to 30 Months: Implications for Assessment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Cynthia Core
    The George Washington University, Washington, DC
  • Erika Hoff
    Florida Atlantic University, Davie
  • Rosario Rumiche
    Florida Atlantic University, Davie
  • Melissa Señor
    Florida Atlantic University, Davie
  • Correspondence to Cynthia Core: core@gwu.edu
  • Editor: Janna Oetting
    Editor: Janna Oetting×
  • Associate Editor: Nina Capone-Singleton
    Associate Editor: Nina Capone-Singleton×
Article Information
Development / Special Populations / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Language
Article   |   October 01, 2013
Total and Conceptual Vocabulary in Spanish–English Bilinguals From 22 to 30 Months: Implications for Assessment
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2013, Vol. 56, 1637-1649. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2013/11-0044)
History: Received February 17, 2011 , Revised August 29, 2011 , Accepted January 12, 2013
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2013, Vol. 56, 1637-1649. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2013/11-0044)
History: Received February 17, 2011; Revised August 29, 2011; Accepted January 12, 2013
Web of Science® Times Cited: 25

PurposeVocabulary assessment holds promise as a way to identify young bilingual children at risk for language delay. This study compares 2 measures of vocabulary in a group of young Spanish–English bilingual children to a single-language measure used with monolingual children.

MethodTotal vocabulary and conceptual vocabulary were used to measure mean vocabulary size and growth in 47 Spanish–English bilingually developing children from 22 to 30 months of age based on results from the MacArthur–Bates Communicative Development Inventory (CDI; Fenson et al., 1993) and the Inventario del Desarrollo de Habilidades Comunicativas (Jackson-Maldonado et al., 2003). Bilingual children's scores of total vocabulary and conceptual vocabulary were compared with CDI scores for a control group of 56 monolingual children.

ResultsThe total vocabulary measure resulted in mean vocabulary scores and average rate of growth similar to monolingual growth, whereas conceptual vocabulary scores were significantly smaller and grew at a slower rate than total vocabulary scores. Total vocabulary identified the same proportion of bilingual children below the 25th percentile on monolingual norms as the CDI did for monolingual children.

ConclusionThese results support the use of total vocabulary as a means of assessing early language development in young bilingual Spanish–English speaking children.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Grants HD054427 (awarded to the second author) and HD054427-S1 (awarded to the fourth author).
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